We arrived a little early at the Historia Familiar room at the capilla, and gave Hna J time to plug in her heater and warm up. The season is changing here, from cold/dry to not-so-cold/wet, so we really don't know what each day will be like. For Hna J, the sure bet is to bring her heater.
Hna Martha arrives and provides the information we need to update her family tree. She has raised a wonderful family, including returned missionaries, and is a very faithful member.
Our 2nd appointment that evening was with Hna Mabel. This was a big event for us, as I actually made the appointment from her phone call - in Español. I mostly got everything right, except her name, which I understood as Mary. Anyway, we had a delightful time helping her, and she's ready to push the button and send family names to the temple.
The next day, we had another meeting with a family, accompanied by Hnas Guajardo and Crump. Sometimes, its easier to let the missionaries "drive", especially with unusual family names or locations (like Huahuamani or Choquehuanca). Hna Guajardo is returning home to Mexico soon, and we will miss her. It has been a joy to get to know her and Hna Crump.
Of course if I put my camera down and the Hermanas pick it up, it's likely to have a bunch of selfies on it, just like when the Elders get hold of it.
This photo could likely be described as our "standard" working mode: a one-on-one with families, our computer up and connected to familysearch.org, transcribing and entering family information, and our portable printer (not visible here) ready to print off the results. Hna J is either driving the computer herself, or checking my entries to make sure I don't enter anything incorrectly or in the wrong place. Here we're helping the delightful Hna Eulalia. She has a book of detailed family records, and has got everything organized so well that it's easy to follow. We did need to correct a duplicate entry on familysearch.org, but with the experience we've gained in 8 months, it was fairly easy to do. We receive so much joy and satisfaction from helping the wonderful members here, and the love they give us is a big reward.
This time, Hna J got her shoes polished up as well.
At our stop for almuerzo (lunch) today, we saw several big bundles of peppers hanging from the ceiling. They're easily accessible when the cooks need a few for their delicious soups.
It's bailar (dance) season, and the youth of the Inti Raymi stake are practicing for their event. The adults and the youth perform in their own events, but everyone comes to them all. Unfortunately, we'll be out of town when this event is held.
The almuerzo (lunch) the Presidente and other mission couples after our trip to the Rope Bridge that we cancelled was rescheduled at Uchu's, one of our favorite restaurants, near the Plaza de Armas. There was an art show going on in the square that day, with a lot on display, including works in progress.
The square is a good place to meet. We all arrived separately, but it's not hard to find each other. The Hasler's and Presidente y Hermana Harbertson have just arrived.
A short walk to the courtyard entrance of Uchu. The Rhoades made it a few minutes later. We enjoyed a relaxing and tasty lunch. I can unofficially mark the relaxation that the Presidente is able to get by the frequency of calls to his cell phone. This time, in an hour and a half: only 1, so it was a pretty good break for him.
While looking at the art in the Plaza, we saw a painting that we really liked. It is very representative of the small pueblos we have visited so many times, so we made a return trip on the last day of the exhibit, bargained hard, and bought it. We know just the place that this will hang in our St. George home.
Everyone got to show off their Family Tree and have their picture taken. My printer ran nonstop for about an hour printing a copy of their photo for each of the kids.
Obispo (bishop) Santos came by, and he wanted his own Family Tree, for which we were very pleased to oblige, and to take a photo of him and his lovely nino.
These ninos were some of the very enthusiastic participants, and of course are always eager to get in a photo.
Back to work in barrio Villa Union. Hnas Hollingshead and Corsetti arranged a cita with Hna Carol, and Hna J inspects her family photos and Mi Familia before getting down to work.
Sometimes the best thing to do is just get the hardware set up for Hna J, then stand back and let her drive. You probably wouldn't believe that she's doing this all in Español, but she is.
Hermanas Isabel, Corsetti, Epi (here she is again, I told you she's everywhere), and Hollingshead take a pause for a photo. It's likely that Hna H will get transferred soon, and we wanted to make sure we had a photo of these lovely Hermanas together.
Every Saturday, a market sets up in one neighborhood in town, always in the same place, so everyone knows where it is. It's a "locals" market, tourists are rarely seen there. The market takes up all the streets in about a 4-block area. And when half of one of the streets gets torn up for construction, no problem, the vendors just set up on the other side. Today I went early with Elder Hasler, he had a few things he was specifically looking for.
And here are some of them: these are "mate" straws, made from stainless steel, with strainers on the end. In Peru, "mate" is a generic term for herb tea (in Argentina, it is a specific herb, there is a fair amount of regionalization in terms). Thanks to his bargaining skills, I had him include an extra one for me that I got at a significant discount.
If you didn't have breakfast before you came to the Baratillo, you can buy it here from one of the many vendors who provide a variety of local and typical foods. A hearty soup is one of the favorites.
As are boiled quail eggs, these are a local delicacy. You can get them fresh, boiled, or boiled and peeled. And you can even buy live quail if you want. I haven't seen quail cooked or roasted like we see at home, I think they are raised just for their eggs. The eggs are small and the shells are tough and hard to peel, but they are a delicious bite. Elder Hasler pickles them, and has promised me a sample soon.
Everyone hits the Baratillo! We see friends there from all over Cusco. Here are 3 of the delightful and lovely Villavicencio hermanas: Nadya, Dunia, and Nyda, along with Nyda's esposo Daniel. They are part of one of our favorite families here in Cusco.
Andean pipes in all varieties. You can buy them really inexpensively (less than $1.75), or you can pay a little more for a "tuned: version.
Elder Hasler has an eye for antiquities, and can pretty much tell the real articles from the "reproductions". We know this vendor, and the items he displays on his blue tarp are of the generic variety. If you ask, he'll bring out items from his "back room". Elder Hasler can scrutinize them, and tell if they are the real deal or not. The reproductions (fakes) are sometimes hard to distinguish, and it takes a lot of experience and a trained eye to identify the genuine articles.
Hmm. This carving of a skull is made to look like it's old, but it's really not. Maybe I'll consider buying it on the next visit to the market. Not really my idea of an art object, but it would be a good conversation piece.
After finishing at the Baratillo, we took a detour back through the San Pedro market. This is a "permanent" market, in its own building, and operates every day. It's a one-stop market where you can get anything you need under one roof: From the front end of a cow -
- to the back end.
Wooden spoons and spatulas made from local hardwoods, and expertly crafted. (I got a couple).
Fresh sauces in bulk. Fresh sausages too.
Got your whole fresh hogs. Custom cut if you want.
Nothing goes to waste.
Fresh chickens, as many as you want. I must say that pollo (chicken) prepared as abrazo, plancha, or chicharron (roasted, flattened, or fried) is one of our favorites here. As far as I can tell, these are "free range" chickens, and larger than most of the the ones we see pre-packaged at home. Very flavorful and tasty.
Yes, these are live snails. You can buy snail slime in a jar that's supposed to have remarkable curative or beauty-enhancing qualities. I'll pass on this, thank you.
And lastly, a vendor that has some colorful mineral samples for sale. Elder Hasler has spent his professional career as a geologist, so he knows minerals, and was looking for some unusual samples. I knew the blue one in the box was oxidized copper, but Elder Hasler pointed out the red flecks in the one outside the box: arsenic.
This was another memorable week for us. We're so appreciative of our assignment, and being able to get to know and work with the wonderful people here. And to have these adventures and experiences thrown in is a double bonus!