Monday, February 26, 2007

I found my British Green Bean!

My last year in Seattle, I was blessed by an amazing coffeeshop, run by two amazing women who loved God and people with all their hearts. It was less than a block away from my flat, and it soon became the place where my friends and I would congregate on evenings and weekends. I even modified my work schedule a bit so I could grab coffee when they opened, because a latte is a latte, but a latte with a huge hug and a giant "Lynnie!" is a fantastic way to start the morning. I was determined to find a similar coffee shop here, where I could comfortably study and relax, get a good cup of coffee, and feel like part of the neighborhood. I thought I found one in Brockley, but it is smokey and they play Bjork a little too much for my study tastes.
About a month ago, there was a notice in my church bulletin that a christian cafe and art gallery was looking for volunteers to work behind the counter. I immediately emailed my interest, I thought I could reach down and access my old barrista experience at Scooters (and pray they don't do hotdogs), combine it with my love for the Green Bean, and as a result have a reason to get out of my flat and hopefully find a new community in return. I wasn't ready for a job, I still had classes and I was still struggling with making time for academics, so volunteering seemed to be a good balance. I didn't receive a response, so I kinda shrugged it off....until this weekend.
I got a phone call over the weekend, and since I was available (because, honestly, when am I not available?) I agreed to come by on Monday to check it out and pitch in. It is called House Cafe, in Camberwell (about a 15 minute bus ride away), which on the main floor is this fabulous, well lit cafe, and underneath will be a gallery space. It is run by a couple, employed by a nearby church with the vision to be more connected to the community while encouraging emerging artists (sound familiar?). Thrilled, I threw on an apron, got a quick review on the wonders of the espresso machine and I was back in the game. I think I've interacted with more people in the last four hours than I have in the last two months combined, it was fabulous. Within 2 hours into arriving, they offered me a job. I guess they were impressed with my mad foaming skills, or maybe because I actually looked for things that needed to be done rather than waiting to be asked. Either way, the plan had always been to hire a staff but were depending on volunteers until they could find people who were a good fit (they've only been open 3 weeks) and they asked me to stay on. They will pretty much take me for as many hours as I want to work, and when I want to work. Heck, I would have worked for the free sandwich, but...what an answer to prayer. Actually, it was a prayer I wasn't even praying. I assumed I wouldn't look for a job until after spring break. Isn't God good? Originally the plan was to be a file clerk, usually hours are flexible, and it quenches my insatiable thirst for organizing. But if you think about it, making coffee isn't too different. Foam milk, pull shot, rinse, repeat. And I have great (Christian) coworkers and friendly customers (well, fingers crossed). I couldn't stop smiling on the bus ride home, which I think is the first time that's happened since arriving in London. Well, finding out I was able to go home and on a plane less than 12 hours later was, but that was more like I couldn't stop crying I was so happy, so first time for uncontrollable smiling. And the best part, I don't have to ask, "would you like onions and ketchup with your hotdog?"

3 Comments:

Blogger traCe&beCcA said...

this is WONDERFUL! made me smiLe quite big as well. when did you get to go home?? that's very cooL. missing you, girL!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jen Johnson said...

I AM SOOO SMILING RIGHT NOW.

8:41 PM  
Blogger sarahmarie said...

YAY! That's wonderful! I need an LA green bean and i will be set...

11:51 AM  

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