When Guisepi Spadafora was temporarily living and working out of his truck in Hollywood, he didn’t know that the simple idea of sharing his food and tea at the end of the day would turn into a life calling. What he discovered was that in the midst of a hectic atmosphere on Hollywood Boulevard, there was suddenly an instant community created. Many people came together from diverse backgrounds and, through the act of serving tea freely, they shared life for a short moment. Thus, the “Free Tea Party” had begun.[see_also]
Guisepi continued the idea of serving tea by parking his truck and putting up a sign that said “Free Tea.” He soon realized just how much impact it was having on people. Guisepi says: “People were excited not only with the acts of generosity, the community created, and the dialogue exchanged, but with the encouragement and inspiration to do similar things in their own lives, whether it be passing on the generosity, seeing through appearances and befriending strangers, or sparking conscious conversations with friends, new and old.”
Now Guisepi later upgraded his truck to a larger vehicle able to accommodate more guests; purchasing a 1989 Thomas short Bus and naming her Edna-Lu. Being quite barren upon the purchase, Guisepi and his imaginative and mechanical mind set on making Edna-Lu the most fascinating short bus one has ever stepped foot in. Utilizing salvaged materials, he installed wood floors, benches and cabinets, a stove, sink and a bed that folds up. His bus is powered by solar panels on his roof and has recently been converted to run on 100% vegetable oil.
Guisepi has already taken Edna-Lu up and down the west coast for the past five years yet most of the trips were short-term. He made frequent stops in Northern California towns, Oregon coastal villages and cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Through the journeys, Guisepi has already served 17,443 cups of tea and many memories have been made. Yet now, it is time for Edna-Lu to take a long journey. She got some recent upgrades and is ready to hit the road. The plan is to travel for two years and while it may only involve the continental US, Guisepi expresses that if people want to support the transport of Edna-Lu overseas, he would be open to taking her international. The mission of “Free Tea Party” is this: Traveling the land, this free tea house cultivates community, health, peace, sustainability, and genuine human interactions.
You can find out where Edna-Lu is located or better yet invite her to your hometown for tea. Learn more about the Tea Bus and her adventures with Guisepi on freeteaparty.org. There is a regularly updated blog and a link to support the journey.