Monday, June 29, 2009

A Day of Mormon and Peruvian Culture

Today was a national holiday, San Pedro and San Pablo (St. Peter and St. Paul), and all the members of our district (all ten branches) were invited to the San Pedro de Cajas branch, located about 75 minutes north of Tarma. We went with our investigator family, the Quintos. On the way to San Pedro, we asked the Quintos if they had talked to their adult children and had set a baptismal date. They told us that they have talked to their children and have set the date for the last week of July when their entire family can be here in Tarma to witness the baptisms. They want Scott to baptize them. Here are Martha (on the right) and José, and their granddaughter Sharon (their daughter Mayra, who also will be baptized, had her university classes and couldn't join us):

They are such a wonderful family. They attend church every Sunday and attend most of the other branch and district activities. They are faithfully reading the Book of Mormon.

We arrived in San Pedro de Cajas (elevation about 12,000 feet) at about 11:00 am:

On our way there, we saw vicuña, as usual. Scott, of course, had to stop and take more pictures of them (for reasons unknown):

To start the day's activity, all the members gathered in a big circle for opening exercises:

The first activity was a volleyball tournament, played on the volleyball/basketball/soccer court adjacent to the LDS chapel. All the chapels here in Peru have this type of sports court:

After that, there was a soccer tournament:

We enjoyed being with our wonderful LDS friends. Here Eliza and Beverly pose for a picture. Eliza (from Colombia but now living in Tarma) is one of Beverly's faithful piano students and a wonderful friend of ours. Her husband is counselor in the district presidency:

Beverly played games with some of the little kids, who got bored of watching the older kids play sports:

Later, we went into town to enjoy the huge festivities in the Plaza de Armas in San Pedro. An elderly woman, in traditional Peruvian dress, came to town to join in the fun:

Scott also got a picture of these three woman in their daily, traditional dress:

On special occasions like today, some women dress in beautiful costumes that have the general appearance of the traditional dress but are much more ornate:

These richly decorated and colorful costumes were worn by dancers, who paraded through the streets of San Pedro de Cajas:

Their capes are ornate, colorful, and beautiful:

People came from all over Peru to participate in the festivities. Here two young dancers from La Merced (in the Peruvian jungle) pose for a picture. We had to leave before they danced:

These dancers are from the town of Junín, not far from San Pedro de Cajas:

The Plaza de Armas (town square) was filled with spectators:

Back at the church, these three women served lunch, Ají de Gallina (chicken with hot sauce) with rice and potatoes:

We all enjoyed the meal, especially these three children of Claudia, a recently baptized woman:

While in the town center, Beverly bought a ceramic figurine from this woman:

This is one of two figurines that Beverly bought to add to her collection of "mother and child" dolls and scultures. It shows a Peruvian woman carrying a baby wrapped in a blanket on her back, with two alpaca at her side:

We had an absolutely marvelous day!


Russ said...

Wonderful news regarding the Quintos. Congratulations!

Andrea said...

FUN! I loved these pictures and the new figurine that mom bought. I can't wait to read and see pictures of the upcoming baptism.