Pachamanca, the Dirt Oven

So, since I talked to my family yesterday, I’m certain that they’ll put a bunch of updates as part of this letter, so I won’t talk too much.

It has been a pretty good week. I’ve enjoyed myself quite a lot since I’ve been in Huancayo for meetings. We had a district leader conference (where I was both the district leader with the most time and most time as a district leader) and a multi-zone conference. They were both really nice and I got to eat some good food as part of the deal.

We’ve been trying to find people this week, but there just hasn’t been anyone around. They all must have been getting ready for the Mother’s Day celebrations. Mother’s Day is a pretty big holiday here, and they’ve all been making Pachamanca and being with family.

Elder Pizarro and I helped to make Pachamanca (which literally means Dirt Oven in Quechua) with Maximo and his family. I now know how to make it, so when I get back we can make some. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

The chef is making his masterpiece of Humita - Ground up corn mixed with sugar, Inca Cola, and other secret ingredients.
The chef is making his masterpiece of Humita – Ground up corn mixed with sugar, Inca Cola, and other secret ingredients.
The awesome oven in which we will bury the Pachamanca.
The awesome oven in which we will bury the Pachamanca.
The meat: 5 Kg of pork and four whole chickens.
The meat: 5 Kg of pork and four whole chickens.
The sweet potatoes, potatoes, and avas.
The sweet potatoes, potatoes, and avas.
Poor cuy...
Poor cuy…
Robinson eating some random body part of a cuy.
Robinson eating some random body part of a cuy.
Putting the humita in corn sheaves to cook.
Putting the humita in corn sheaves to cook.
Potatoes go in first with some hot rocks.
Potatoes go in first with some hot rocks.
Then the pork goes in.
Then the pork goes in.
Next, the chicken.
Next, the chicken.
Then the cuy.
Then the cuy.
A photo to prove I was there.
A photo to prove I was there.
After the cuy, goes the humita.
After the cuy, goes the humita.
Herbs are placed on the outside for flavor.
Herbs are placed on the outside for flavor.
Blankets are laid on top to hold in vapor and heat.
Blankets are laid on top to hold in vapor and heat.
Tarps are placed around the oven for protection.
Tarps are placed around the oven for protection.
The tired chef.
The tired chef.
Time to eat PACHAMANCA!
Time to eat PACHAMANCA!

So, that’s really about it. There isn’t much else to report since I’ve been out of my area for most of the week. I hope that you all have an adventure. Well, I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

UPDATES from Mom: We had a great video chat for Mother’s Day. There were some technical difficulties involving Skype and the microphones. David could see us, but not hear us. I was impressed with his good humor as he tried to figure it out. Finally, we switched to Google Hangouts and he did some techie magic and we had a good chat. He looked good — he was very happy and his accent was markedly less compared to Christmas. He said it was because he spends more time with gringos now that there are so many more missionaries. He is excited to finish his work, and worried that life is “about to slap him in the face” with the end of his mission. Elders Pizarro and Fitzgerald stuck their heads in to say “hello” and that was really fun.

Elder Van Komen also asked me to tell friends and family to PLEASE WRITE TO HIM!

(The flies like to sleep on the wooden bars that hold the roof up. Here are the spiders that capture them.)
(The flies like to sleep on the wooden bars that hold the roof up. Here are the spiders that capture them.)
My Mother Written by:

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