Wednesday, August 28, 2013

She's not fooling anyone!

The pattern is emerging; we are spending about half of our time at 'home,' and the other half on the road.  This week was no different, as we dropped an adult couple at the airport, drove to Cerro de Pasco, back to Marcavalle, then to Tarma, then San Pedro de Cajas Branch.... you get the picture.  
It was District Leadership Training time in Tarma, and while I attended that, Paula went out for the afternoon with the Sister Missionaries there.
They taught a lesson, then made visits, crossing fields, and throwing pebbles at third-floor windows to let folks know that they had arrived.
On Sunday, we traveled with the District Presidency to San Pedro de Cajas, a small town high in the mountains, the road to which was unpaved, about an hour and a half long, and interesting.  
The town sits at about 12,000 feet, 
and is therefore a bit chilly.  The chapel, built about 20 years ago, is in great condition, thanks in part to good care, and to the fact that it's mostly masonry construction, meaning that it, too, is a little chilly.  So, we held what meetings we could outside
OK, I'm not supposed to lie.  The women thought of it first.
Around these parts, the older women carry things in a cloth tied on their shoulders.
Paula has wondered how they could make them secure enough to carry big loads, babies, lambs, whatever.  I mentioned this to several of the older sisters, and they were dying to show her how.
One kind older sister even gave her the cloth off her back.  Like I said, though, Paula's not fooling anyone that she's a Peruvian mamita.
Maybe she needs the hat, too.
We hope that you're learning new stuff also.
David & Paula

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The saxophone is alive and well in the Mantaro Valley, thank you.

For those of you lamenting the passage of the accordion from popular music in the U. S. of A., have no fear.  Its practice and art is preserved and advanced in Mexico
In fact, mirroring the popularity of the guitar north of the border, there is even a game commemorating the instrument.
Similarly, fear not for the saxophone.  It is alive and blaring in Peru
At least it was until about midnight last night, ear plugs or no.  
The instrument takes great part in the celebration of 'Santiago,' an up-to-two-month period named for St. James, who must have been a saxophonist himself, considering its prevalence during his fiesta.  Folks dance, drink, dress up, all accompanied by musical groups heavy on the curvy woodwind.  
Weddings are another time to bring out the silver and gold horns.  Don´t get me wrong, I played the saxophone for a while, until I realized that the cat hid, the kids cried and the neighbors gave me weird looks the next day.  
Since yesterday, the main street that runs past our apartment has been blocked for a wedding, complete with music til all hours, with most of the songs sounding suspiciously exactly completely the same.  The band plays with enthusiasm, but really, they need to expand their repertoire.  Soon! 
 We are told with smiles that this could well go on for three days or so.  Isn't that great?!  Saxophones!!  Three days!!  Same song!!   BFTZTTSS!!
We hope that your neighborhood wedding celebrations are shorter, and with flutes.
Dave & Paula

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"A toilet seat in every bathroom!"

If that sounds a lot like a campaign promise, then vote for Sister Henderson!
Standards of living in missionary apartments are often quite variable, as sister Henderson (Paula) has discovered as she has made her initial visits to inspect them.
Today, when we visited the Elders in Junín, the home of the Giant Maca (more on that later), she discovered once again that the bathroom accessory in question was nowhere to be found.
"That's it!" she said, "Everyone in this mission gets a toilet seat!"
Cheers could be heard throughout the central highlands of Peru, from Tingo María to Lircay.  "We love Sister Henderson!" they all cried.
We hope you find someone equally worthy of your vote.
Dave & Paula