Saturday, September 10, 2016


Carlos and Tania invited us up to their chakra/farmland for the day. We took a combi east from Virú into the foothills of the Andes where the air is fresh and clean, except for a brush fire that burnt itself out. We walked from the Plaza de Armas in Huacapongo to the bridge at Susanga where Carlos met us on his moto with their kids Andre and Ckeyci (pronounced KC). While the kids showed me the little fishes in the river, Tania arrived, so we all strolled up the hill. On our way we passed a cow that was giving birth, and we watched the new calf stand up and take its first steps. We passed more cows and burros, chickens, goats, ducks and turkeys, fields of corn, cane and fruit trees and finally their chakra. We sat down on some rocks by a tiny stream and ate warm tamales and sandwiches of fried bologna and canned shoestring potatoes. Tania calls them hamburgers. They have fields of small fruit trees: avocado, papaya and guava. The papayas should start producing in a few months and the avocados in a couple of years. Meanwhile Carlos has to come up to water the trees almost every day. Doesn't that stir up nostalgia of watering trees at the cabin? We strolled up another kilometer or so to see the well and planted a few more trees. I don't know what they're called, but they grow really big and have white flowers that turn into giant bean pods with large black seeds encased in sweet white cotton candy... one of the many perks of living in the tropics of Peru. We inspected the well, enjoyed strolling the grounds, met some interesting people, and watched Carlos work on his broken down combi. We also shared stories about tremblors, small earthquakes. We've felt a few lately, and the one this morning at 5:00 am came with a low rumbling similar to the sound of a spouse snoring, I won't say which spouse. Carlos remembered once when he jumped out of bed at what he thought was a tremblor, but it turned out to be Tania laughing. I guess when you live in an earthquake culture, you learn to laugh about it. Meanwhile Andre showed me how to use his slingshot and demonstrated on every target possible. He could certainly stand up to Goliath! Finally Carlos's brother Henry drove up to take us all home in his combi, complete with cold Inca Kola that we juggled and splashed along the bumpy road. We said goodbye with promises of cookies and pizza.

This is what happens when your burning gets out of control. 

Strolling to the chakra

After lunch this little girl Linsy came over, but she kept a cautious distance from us. 

Ckeyci and Tania take in the view. 

Carlos, ever the gracious host

Carlos guides Ckeyci over to look down the well. 

It must be pretty scary...I never did look. 

Ken calls that a deep subject. 

Tania seems a bit nervous.

Andre considers swinging out over the well. 

He decided to climb up some rocks instead. They asked me if our grandkids like to climb rocks too!

Linsy finally warmed up to us when her dog kissed me. She giggled like it was the funniest thing she'd ever seen!

Making pizza has become part of our job description. 

After teaching our regular lessons, it's fun to teach pizza lessons. Rosalia makes the sauce while Maité works the dough. 

Lizeth spreads out the sauce.

Maité adds the cheese, and she loves that mozzerella!

Rosalia makes the pineapple and ham pizza.

 Elder Whitney slices pepperoni.

And we all made brownies for dessert.

Isn't she a cutie!

And finally, Zona Virú with Elder Montoya


  1. Oliver says that the baby is a big big cutie! Our kids DO like to climb rocks and they would like to taste a cotton candy tree! Also Oliver wants to taste some of your pizza. Camilla says to come to our house someday.

  2. We'd like to come to your house and make pizza too!