Monday, May 21, 2007

The Tale of How I Met Pedro The Guampa

I've been asked to recount the tale of my attainment of Pedro the Guampa. But where to start? When I first drank of Pedro the guampa? When I first drank of a guampa? Or when I first drank of Pedro the Guampa once he was in my possession? Hrm.

Firstly, a guampa is generally a hollowed out bulls horn ( ) most commonly associated with being used in Paraguay more so than the other large yerba drinking countries in South America.

The first encounter I had with guampas and yerba mate was as an impressionable young lad around the age of 18 at Camp Squeah in Hope, BC. The cool older staff (Rob, Jon, Tim) would pass around this steaming horn. It was odd. It smelt like hay. And I was offered some. So I tried, and burned my tongue. That stuff is hot! So I tried it a couple more times with similar results and decided that it just wasn't for me. Then 2 years of camp passed by with me only occasionally partaking of the maté and burning my tongue. Then.. Papa Theo taught me the secret of.. `Little Sips` and a whole new world was opened to me.

I started becoming a regular feature at different maté circles around camp. I started entering into the fellowship and communion of the guampa, the gourd, the good green greatness. Long conversations, pensive discussions, and humorous discourse was soon to follow. Here a foundation of friendship and fellowship was instilled in the passing of the cup and the company of many good people.

It was at camp that I first met Ben Kauffman. Years later we would be roommates during my little stint at bible college. So it was here that I first met Pedro the Guampa. For it was Ben's back then; recently arrived from Paraguay with a soccer insignia on the front of it.

Camps came and went, years passed like grains of sand along the windswept beach and.. I found myself at college in my room in the Underground. One of the greatest birthday memories occurred one day when, after helping tidy up dishes after the supper meal, I went back to my room to discover Andrew Goertzen and Ben waiting for me with the guampa ready to go! We fellowshipped, told great tales, and did other various things (like probably played a game or two of cribbage as well).

At school I formed more friendships around the horn of goodness. With people like Andy Janzen, Tom Enns, and a number of others.

Sometime during that first term at college Ben came to me and made an offer. To sell me Pedro the Guampa (as yet unnamed at that point) for $5!. Wow. So I purchased Pedro from Ben then and there. But what was Ben going to do? Fear not.. for he had a plan. He got me to move in with him at "The Beerhouse" across the street, where he kept using the guampa for the whole second term. :) Oh Ben.

Since that time Pedro has been many places with me, and many various and wonderful friends and people have shared in the cup of life with me. And now I have the wonderful joy and honour of serving as an ambassador to this healthy, bettering, way of life. Despite occasional mockery and scorn I continue on my way with a smile on my face, a song in my step, water my thermos and yerba maté in my guampa. :)

People sometimes ask me why I don't "upgrade" to a nicer container, to a bigger container. Or to one that isn't a horn. lol. Why do I drink from my guampa? Sure it's pretty cool to drink from a frikken horn, but more than that, it is a connection to all of my friends and the good people with whom I've shared conversation and contact. It is a representation of all of my friends and they come with me where I go.

Here is a brief telling of my tale. The tale of Pedro The Guampa, and a few of the times we've spent together.


Anonymous said...

Saynine said...

Thank you for this inspiring tale. I realy was hoping for a great explanation like this when I asked

Seth said...