This is it, my final PECC blog post. Lou's and my time in PE is quickly coming to an end and we will soon be returning to the States permanently. I decided that the 4th anniversary Crawl would be the perfect time to end this incredible journey. It matters not where we went to celebrate the occasion on February 19.
|Our 4th Anniversary|
|More 4th Anniversary Crawlers|
I started the Port Elizabeth Coffee Crawl in February, 2011, seven months after Lou and I moved to PE. My initial intent was to introduce my family and friends back home in the States to PE via blogging about the local coffee shops. But it was also intended for me to meet some new people, learn my way around town, and perhaps even improve my computer and photography skills.
For as much as the teacher in me wants to give a final grade on how successful I was in accomplishing these goals, I'll refrain and, instead, impart some reflections on the four years of the Port Elizabeth Coffee Crawl.
|Some of the Crawl regulars celebrating our 4th|
I ended my very first post, dated February 13, 2011, with the words, "And so the crawl begins...."
At that time I could not have imagined the enormous impact the Crawl would have on my life here in PE, South Africa. It started as a couple of ladies going out for a quick cup of coffee but, during the course of the 4 years, over 140 people (men, women and children - ages spanning 9 decades!) have joined me on my weekly coffee shop visits. These Crawlers represented 11 different countries, we have visited over 120 different coffee shops and have tasted 29 brands of coffee! What eventually became a core group of 15-20 regulars brought family, friends and visitors to Crawl with us.
At first, back in February, 2011 the shop visits and my blog posts were all about the coffee. As the years progressed and we met more and more people, including shop owners, baristas, visitors, strangers who just joined us for the day and strangers who became regulars, it became less and less about the coffee.
The Crawlers have celebrated becoming parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, we've consoled those who have lost loved ones, exchanged cultural ideas and ideals, hosted a bridal shower and attended the subsequent wedding, reunited long lost cousins, celebrated birthdays and holidays, shared hundreds of books, have said farewell to old years and welcomed in new years, and have turned relative strangers into the best of friends. Over a weekly cup of coffee the Crawlers have become my SA family and I have come to realize that the Port Elizabeth Coffee Crawl was, in fact, not about the coffee at all.
Tons of thank you's:
~Thank you to my husband, Lou, who came up with the name of my blog!
~Thank you to Lou and my father-in-law, Sabie, whose support and encouragement got me through
some frustrating times with the blog
~Thank you to my family and friends Stateside for whom the blog was initially intended
~Thank you to Beth Vieira, Fran de Beer and Gail Taverner who agreed to come on the first Crawl
~Thank you to everyone who has ever been on the Crawl and especially to the 15-20 regulars who
pitched, rain or shine
~Thank you to Firefly/Jonker Fourie for the technical help back in 2011 and who is the PECC most
dedicated reader even though we have never met in person....you really kept me going!
~Thank you to all the coffee shop owners, baristas and staff members for your patience and general
good humor with the Crawlers
~Thank you to everyone at Masterton's
~Thank you to all of the PECC readers all over the world who have contributed to the 90,000 hits on
And so the Crawl ends,
|Three of the four original Crawlers|
Fran, Ellen, Beth