¿Did you know that, The word Moquegua is Quechua in origin and means "quiet place"? It was possibly named that for its tranquility, & pleasant climate; which is the reason it is sometimes known as "Sleepy Moquegua".
Not so foreign anymore
Returning to the airport in Lima made me realize how much at home I feel here… Although trusting a lot in Jehovah; the initial trip, came with a little nervousness… Obviously, more familiar this time, I could focus on my desire to see friends and get back in the territory… I spent a few days in Lima, with the congregation Vista Alegre, and Monica’s family. I received a grand welcome! We ate; we danced, we preached… Anticipating the circuit assembly with my congregation in Moquegua, I took the long 20+hour trip without much delay…
Chorillos, Lima View from rooftop of Monica´s house.
With amigas Marianella y Estercita y su mama...
With friends in Lima
¡The Harvest Doesn´t Wait!
It’s amazing how much the territory has grown in just a few months.. People are filling the dusty mountains with their houses of estera.. (large bamboo mats)… we have 131 territories that are divided into 3-5 blocks each… Our Campaign for Memorial Invitations went well… finished! Every morning and afternoon we worked hard to complete 8-10 territories… How are you all covering your territory? And how is the response? We hope that many join us for this most important occasion, for the whole city we are expecting between 250-300… Many are making promises to be in attendance.
San Antonio is still filled with persons who want to learn. Recently I’ve been able to answer questions such as, 'Will God resurrect aborted babies, why were there seraphs on the ark of the covenant if the Israelites were instructed not to make carved images or a form like anything that is in the heavens? And Who is in Gehena?' My bible study Estefani, 18, in particular asks a lot of questions.. She is progressing very well because of regular (Sunday) meeting attendance.. Friday nights are difficult because she studies civil engineering at the local University.. She is starting to see the need to make changes in her lifestyle.. She says after studying the Bible she feels that everything she’s done in her life has been wrong.. As far as wearing the cross, watching movies with espiritism, using amulets for good luck and things like that.... Coming from a family of devout Catholics, it’s definitely eye opening to learn about all the false teachings… I try to always bring along someone that has similar background with me on the study, because Estefani loves hearing about examples of others who have changed their lifestyle.. That makes me happy because I know she is thinking of doing the same.. I know Jehovah will bless her sincere efforts…
approacing Moquegua in bus...
With Monica at the assembly, Santificado Sea Tu Nombre
The Martinez Family, looking at photos of my family! haha...
With Monica, Don David and his family.. Bible Studies!
With the circuit overseer and his wife.. Hermanos Guevaras
The school auditorium where the assembly was held
with monica in the ministry
Selling the “Negritas”
For the month of March I began working in the Feria (flea market) with my new companera Monica. We sell olives… Aceituna to be exact.. The olives we sell are most comparable to the greek calamata olives with pits. But there are so many different flavors and colors. Peruvians love their acietuna! They are commonly eaten with bread or boiled potatoes… muy rico! Most buy them by the kilo or half kilo… My favorite are usually the darkest.. which we refer to as “negritas”… It’s really astonishing for most to see me working the in the feria, and the nicknames the people give me, sin verguenza, are hilarious…I think ''zancudo''(mosquito) is my favorite haha. I have to assume its because of my long arms and legs.. The atmosphere is quite exciting, I love to hear everyone shouting out there items to catch passerby’s attention… I’m getting better at it too! Haha… ''Aceituna, aceituna, aceituna! No te llevas aceituna caserita?'' Just like a carne at the fair! hahaha…But the feria 'La Chakra a La Olla'' is the most popular supermarket on Saturday.. You can get your fresh meat, eggs, spices, fruits, and vegetables all in one spot.. Fresh bread is popular, as well as goat cheese, and animals(cows, cuyes, turkey, chicken,quail, cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits) for sell... O yeah! In addition to this new venture, I’ve also tried alpaca meat and learned to make all natural homemade apple cider vinegar!
fresh cuy for sell, one is about 5 dollars! then you just fry it up.. mmmm.. mmm..mmm..
This week a couple from Sweden arrived to Moquegua! Jimmy and Isabela, are here to support our congregation! They've been married a little over a year, and assited a Spanish congregation in Sweden. Jimmy´s father is Spanish so he is quite fluent in Spanish, Isabela´s still learning... but nonetheless we are happy to have them. I didn’t know most people in Sweden spoke English.. haha, but what a nice surprise.
A day in the life of the chakra
Last Monday Monica and I went up to Torata to visit Hermanita Miguelina on her chakra(farm or ranch). Just a little further up north of Moquegua, during this time of year, you find green mountains, grass, and a flowing river! What a change from the daily desert scene!… We arrived a lot later than we thought, I didn’t know it was an hour walk to her house! But, well worth the trek… her humble abode sits kind of in a valley between two mountains... And her large garden of potatoes, avocado trees, alfalfa, onions, oregano, cilantro, is just below..
As soon as we arrived, tired and hungry, we started working! We peeled some of her fresh reaped potatoes.. and then, close to where the sheep were grazing we harvested alfalfa with sickles to feed the guinea pigs, which were about 50 or 60. When I saw them, I knew for sure that was our lunch for the next day... Monica´s excitement assured me even more.. haha... Hermana Miguelina also has many turkeys hens and chickens... After harvesting, we pulled weeds, and helped clean until the sun began to set... Entering the kitchen we turned black with soot.. from her wood burning stovetop.. We exchanged some conversation but mostly listened to her tell us stories for hours about how she raised all of her children, and how she´s learned the truth while she prepared a fresh homegrown chicken soup for us.. La hermanita tiene su caracter! Jaja…But what an example of a strong woman, single mother, and hard worker, who has been able to withstand so much with the help of Jehovah...
We didn´t plan to stay the night, but it's dangerous to descend at night, so arriving late and everything we were glad to accept her hospitality... So at 7:30 with no sunlight, there was nothing left to do but sleep. Cooold! Her house is made of adobe bricks so at night it got chilly... Who says that the Chickadee has the prettiest song? Turkeys whistle and sing beautifully hahaha! It worked as a perfect alarm in the morning... completley drowning out the rooster! It made Monica and I awake with laughter... We heard la Hermana Miguelina wake up about an hour before us at 4am.. she had already killed two cuyes, guinea pigs, and was ready to work more! We changed our clothes, and began to help harvesting potatoes and more alfalfa... I got too close to one of the sheep and almost got kicked! I didn´t now they can be so agressive! Afterwards, we helped her prepare lunch, which to me felt more like breakfast, because it was only 9:30. Choclo con queso, papas, y cuy frito! haha... Thankfully, she cut the cuy up in pieces so it was easier to eat this time without staring at the entire body.. I can´t deny that the taste is good... but def not making this a practice guys!
with hermana miguelina
Now that is was Tuesday it was time to get back to our activity so we went down to the city of Torata accompanied by her donkey... It carried the two bushels of potatoes that we harvested unknowingly for ourselves... haha... Now we have potatoes for days! She also sent us on our way with fresh cheese and corn to toast... Q bonito!
Being in Torata, and depending solely on the sunlight while working hard, and eating well; with the lulling sound of the river always in your ear, even just for the day, can really make you forget about the time, and your responsibilities. How refreshing! What an opportunity to soak up appreciation for Jehovah´s creation, the air is fresher and the stars are brighter. What a day in the life of the chakra...
well can´t wait to hear from you ALL! more to come.. write questions if you´ve got them!
Chau! Recieve greetings from all the brothers here in MOQUEGUA!