Pioneer Meeting, and Camping on the Beach
A few weeks back we had our annual pioneer meeting. It was nice the way we joined together with the San Francisco congregation as well. The theme helped us all to understand ways we can "Imitate Those Taking the Lead Among Us, the Faithful and Discreet Slave". It was stated that they need our support especially when there are changes, or modifications in our teaching methods. They really encouraged all pioneers to use the provided resources, specially focusing on our new website jw.org! They reminded us how we are told in Isaiah 60:16 to "drink the milk of the nations" and encouraged all to use technology, or the Internet! It seems, that most in the United States don't have much of an issue in this regard, as records show that more then 81% of the country are avid users. But here in Peru that percentage is only 38% of the population. I hear many of the brothers opinion-ate that the Internet is just for young ones. But our brother even said in the end jokingly, "Work hard to buy your tablet, to show your studies these videos!" Everyone laughed, but what a great reminder to keep in step with the slave. JW.ORG is a new tool that we should learn to use well!
After the meeting, the brothers served us all pieces of cake, and Coca and Inca Kola. Also, the elders from each congregation put together an agenda for the year for each pioneer. Here we are with our little gift bags. After leaving the hall, they invited everyone to a chicken dinner.. Pollo a la brasa!
Pioneers in San Antonio
Camping in Ilo
Every year the congregation plans a beach trip to Ilo in December. This year about 40 of us went. We filled up 3 combi vans. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, it was my first time camping off the Pacific Ocean. And, well here in Peru, you can never be too sure about anything, it's always an adventure. So the adventure began! Well, once the combi finally started we were off. It's interesting going to the Ilo, because the whole ride there you are surrounded by dry desert. It seems that there is no water in sight for days! I guess it's not surprising since this beach is sitting just north of the Atacama desert (Chile), which is one of the driest coastal deserts in the world.
Anyway, about 60 miles later we arrived in the evening to Ilo's main pier. We took some time to snap pics, and observe the sea lions in the water. Some of the brothers ate ice cream, and papa rebosada. Once we got to the beach it was nighttime. Pitch black. Time to set up camp! It was difficult not to think about the camp of Israel who were securely guided by Jehovah's pillar of fire. We, on the other hand, relied on a pair of distant headlights to set everything up! Monica and I weren't able to get our hands on a tent in time, so thankfully we were able to borrow one to shield ourselves from the wind, and wandering crabs. I had never seen so many live crabs on the beach! The small ones, appeared to be large spiders running around in the dark. Aah! But besides that sleeping on the beach is the most peaceful! We made a small fire, and everyone shared, bread rolls and hot tea. The whole night through the young and older played volleyball. So sleeping was disturbed by faint sounds of running and laughter.
In the morning the fire was started again, to boil water and make sopaipilla. This is a fried pastry something like what you can find in southwest US, Texas or New Mexico. Also, you can find it in some Mexican restaurants probably topped with lettuce and tomato. It's a fried quick bread traditionally made with flour water and a little salt. Here in Peru it's mostly served on the streets in the morning as breakfast.
Ilo kicks up some pretty nice waves so the refrigerator chilled water was refreshing after our long run. As of yet, no beach beats the mountain and palm tree decorated beach in Culebra, PR. Buut... Ilo has great chicharron de pescado, and lots of sun!
For the sake of my Canon, I have no pictures of the action but; Marianella, Monica, and I spent some time catching crabs which was pretty fun. You just need a good grip, a stick and a bucket! Crab soup! Hope you enjoy the pictures! Chau!