Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On March 25th we helped with a "Feria de Comidas" (food fair) organized by some of the volunteers from our New Hope Tutoring Center committee. They had the idea to raise money to help cover costs of the daily snacks at the center. A Feria de Comidas is a Sunday lunch generally with 4 or more plate options and of course Peanut soup for appetizer. Each of the churches is invited to participate and sell tickets to their congregation. These events are a fairly common fundraising technique here in Bolivia, but before that weekend we had only gone to eat the food. This time we had the privilege of helping prepare all the food as well. We went to Dios Es Amor (God is Love) church Saturday evening to start the prep work. Granted the kitchen was a bit different from a church kitchen you might find in the states, but we all worked together, made some great food, and had some good laughs. The prep work started Saturday evening with some new experiences for us. Molly cut off her first chicken head and peeled skin from chicken feet to go into the soup. I was asked to taste test the marinade, but this was after the raw pork had already been dropped into the large container. It was one of those moments were I said an extra prayer of protection as the marinade touched my tongue and went down my throat. I had no ill effects. Our work was not finished Saturday evening. We went home to try to get to bed some what early in order to head back to the church at 4 AM to continue food prep. I was so vigorously peeling my potatoes on Sunday morning that I broke my peeler. I grabbed a knife to continue the job, but our friend Valeria quickly diverted me to washing lettuce duty. I knew our friendship was growing when she was blunt enough to say, "It's just faster if I do it".  So the morning was going smoothly and all the food was smelling delicious. Then the phone orders started coming in. We have seven churches in Santa Cruz and some of them are in the same general neighborhood or mile radius of our district lot where we would be serving the food, but there are a few that are across town. We agreed to make deliveries to two churches. The ladies put together the orders and I hopped in the car with Pastor Paulino (Pastor at God is Love Church). We were a ways down the road when my cell phone rang and Molly informed me that I forgot to take the box out of the car that held the spare change and food tickets to use at the district lot. For some reason I thought we'd be back in time and this wouldn't cause much of a problem. However, traffic was backed up on one of the roads we were on because a city bus and a cargo truck had a pretty severe collision. We got to the first church a bit behind schedule and it took a while to get  the correct change , from the "church treasure", for the meals. As Paulino and I were "cruising around town" we unwittingly had left our wives in the lurch and caused a bit of chaos back at the district lot. Without the tickets and proper change there was no way to keep all the orders straight. When Paulino and I arrived back from our deliveries, everything seemed to be in fairly good order. People were sitting at tables enjoying their food. I even saw some of the children who regularly come to the Tutoring Center, there with their parents. Paulino's son Nelson had the sound system hooked up with some nice background music. Everything appeared to be in order until I stepped into the "serving area" and was brought up to speed on what had been happening over the past hour. The ladies were all very forgiving for my forgetfulness and oversight (althought I'm sure they will tease me about it for years to come). I remembered later that Molly had mentioned to me about the box and how I needed to take it out before I left....Ooops. 
Well I learned a few lessons through this experience. 
First: Listen extra closely to your wife at all times. If needed, take notes. 
Second: (and I kind of already knew this...) Bolivians can cook some seriously amazing food in some seriously simplistic settings. 
Third: God can smooth over the chaos and make some really amazing out of it. 

Enjoy these photos...

Bryan & Molly

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