Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our First Missionary Christmas

It's hard to believe there's only one Christmas left. It seemed so far away back on the 4th of July. Now it's come and gone. One of our goals has been to help the missionaries enjoy their missions. It's easy to accomplish since they're fun to be around!

Zona Virú diciembre 2015

Strolling along the streets of Trujillo

El Tamborilero

It's cool to play the violin...and drum the trash barrels. 

Thank you, Elders

They're all our sons. 

...and grandsons!

Running off Christmas, with Elders Contreras & Arévalo

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Chocolotada

About a month before Christmas, we started planning an activity for Primary called La Chocolotada. Nobody would explain the details to me because they assumed it was self explanatory, a chocolotada. I supported the idea because the mention of chocolate was all I needed to stay interested. Bit by bit I figured out it had to do with Christmas and involved fun and games. Lidia bought toys to give the children for Christmas presents. When the day finally arrived, we met at someone's house for fun and games. We sang songs and Lidia thanked everyone for supporting the Primary. Then came the food: hot chocolate served with stewed chicken and big chunks of Paneton. Everyone was so excited. Successful activity! Since then we've been to three other chocolotadas. They all included Christmas, hot chocolate, chicken and Paneton. Mystery solved.

Hot chocolate, chicken & Paneton 

Little gangsters

Gerson: future missionary

Ducky, ducky!

Pretty pato!

Last minute Christmas shopping

Fresh chicken for that chocolatada 

Santa does looks different down here

But we know it's Elder Contreras, right, Elder Bly?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad

The Christmas season doesn't start here until the week before Christmas. Suddenly people put up Christmas lights, decorations pop up in the Plaza de Armas, and rows of shops take over the downtown streets. Everywhere you look you see stacks of Paneton, a tradition started back in the 50s by Italian settlers who had to have their Panettone. This tall sweet bread is yummy, and we've had some almost every day for the past week. Sunday our Christmas choir made its debut in church at Chao where the newly combined Chao/Nuevo Chao branch met for the first time. It broke many hearts to dissolve our dear Nuevo Chao branch, but it will be much stronger this way. Sunday evening the choir sang in the Plaza de Armas in Virú along with our children's choir. It went so well that Tuesday we'll perform again in the town of Victor Raul, and maybe even in Chao.

This is President Blas's favorite picture, so he put it in the Plaza de Armas.

Christmas Choir in Virú

Choir with children singing "Burrito Sabanero" and "Cholito Jesús"

Christmas decorations in the Plaza, Virú

More Christmas decorations

Papa Noel with shades and cotton snow

Bottle tree and cup snowman

Beautiful at night




Boracho tree made from wine bottles

Don't forgery the Panaton!

Christmas shopping in Virú

Lots of shops

Our display in the Plaza

Meat pies for Christmas

Feliz Navidad from the Plaza de Armas in Chao!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Dress

I'd like to blame this whole mess on Ken, but I stepped in it with both feet. He could have discouraged me a bit though, but no, he had to be the supporting husband this time. After attending the temple Saturday with Rosa and Marisol, we had lunch downtown then parted ways so they could go shopping for a graduation dress. We went to the post office to mail some cards only to find it closed due to a strike. No wonder I still haven't received my birthday cards:) Later on we happened to meet up with them again. They couldn't find a dress they liked. Somehow we wound up at a fabric store. I kept suggesting pretty pieces to her, but Marisol had her heart set on "melon." Whenever I suggested something, she would ask the clerk what color it was, and the clerk would inevitably answer "coral" or "peach" or "apricot." Marisol would look at me and shake her head. I remembered my own daughters shopping for prom dress fabric.  Are teenagers the same all over the world? This gal lives with her family in a humble home in Nuevo Chao with dirt floors, tarp roof and cuys running around, but she's still a teenager. They finally picked out the perfect piece of melon material, then looked at me and asked, Didn't you say you could sew? We have an old sewing machine you could take home and use. Or is this too hard for you? Oh of course I could do it! So we bought the fabric, thread and zipper, when I realized they don't use patterns in Peru. People just sew. Uh oh... Being the good sport I am, I decided to give it a try. I drew up a pattern and sewed it together using an old tablecloth. It didn't work. Meanwhile the sewing machine was suffering from rust, dirt and  age. Ken could see my stress level rising to a point of desperation. He took the machine apart, cleaned and oiled it and found me a new needle in the Virú market. Next he sat down with me to study patterns online. We downloaded two and used parts of each.  Since then the dress has miraculously come together. Marisol will get to dress up like a princess for graduation. I still shake my head in disbelief! Plus I get to hang on to the machine!
Here's our mailing address since people have been asking for it. There's no post office in Virú, so you have to send it to Trujillo. FedEx and UPS don't work here because of customs problems. Also it takes 1-2  months, unless there's a strike.

Misión Perú Trujillo Sur
Calle Los Tilos 440
Urb. California
La Libertad

These cuties dressed up to perform tonight. 

Yes, we're in Virú.

Time for another fiesta!

Dress up and dance! 

Drums & flutes accompany.

Handsome devil

Devil & Angel

Peruvian cowboy

Love the hats! 

Feliz Cumpliaños, Elder Arévalo! (With yam pie/cake)

Strolling with Elders Arévalo  & Contreras

With Marisol

The Dress