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International Center

University of Missouri

Sip & Wonder

by Alexis H.

If you have ever watched the infamous sitcom “Friends,” then you are more than familiar with their Central Perk hangout spot. You know, the coffee shop where Rachel brews horrible coffee, that has the manager, Gunther. Where the gang meets up all the time to poke fun, gossip and never needs to make plans for a meet-up at Central Perk, because of course every member of the gang will be there.

Well, my friends and I have our own Central Perk in Alicante, Spain – Sip & Wonder.

Sip & Wonder opened three months ago, right around the time we all arrived for the semester. The owners, Wayne and Daisy, are a married couple from England who are currently expecting their first child.

The eclectic café is tucked in between giant buildings in downtown Alicante, about three blocks from Mercado Central. The café’s welcoming feel is complimentary of the wall of windows that remain wide open, the large tables, various seats including couches, benches and desks and of course, the owner’s dog, Darwin, who runs freely throughout the café.

My friends and I frequent SW so often, we have even started to stay past closing to help clean up and enjoy a drink with the owners (minus Daisy, who is 100% pregnant).

In fact, we have even received permission from Wayne and Daisy to host a “Sip & Slam” poetry event on Thursday, May 26, during happy hour. The intent is to have an evening of self-expression through both English and Spanish – participants are invited to recite either a personal piece or a personal favorite and of course, we need plenty of professional spectators.

We began advertising the event a few weeks back. Alejandra, our artistic friend and animation and digital art major, designed a poster based off Darwin relaxing in the comfiest chair in the café. The rest of us have thrown the poster in every study group chat, invited advisors and professors, our favorite waiters and shop owners, and host families.

So far, we have received excited feedback. People have commented asking if rap is allowed, if they can invite more people and my advisor, who specializes in Mexican American literature, has invited his entire literature community.

Not only has my immediate friend group gathered at the café to write our own poems, but we have run into others who are taking the evening just as seriously. We are discovering secret talents of those who we have interacted with all semester – hosting this event has led us to connect the international students with the local community.

I adore poetry and frequently write my own, but for me, the coolest part about this event is the feeling that I am leaving my mark on Alicante. That Sip & Wonder could continue to host poetry events long after were gone, speaking of those international students from Spring 2018 who started it all. The fact that my friends and I will maintain our relationships through the trust we have built by reviewing one another’s poetry. The fact that we are all connecting through poetry.

I am nervous, but I am excited.
This is new, but it is a novelty.
This is Sip & Wonder, but it is also our home.

A poster for a poetry slam event listing time, place and event details.

The poster for our poerty slam event.

About the blogger

Alexis H. is studying abroad on the Universidad de Alicante: ALI Abroad program in Alicante, Spain.

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