The preparations for the celebration have been going on since May when the homeowners in our neighborhood started repainting their homes, sanding and polishing their beautifully carved doors and garage doors, cleaning yards, and even remodeling homes. It's the Peruvian version of spring cleaning a friend told us.
Every apartment building and home was adorned with a large flag and street vendors sold flags and pins in the street and on corners. One of the custodians at the CCM brought us a large flag and a small standing flag. We taped the large flag to our corner window. We learned an interesting fact from our driver: anyone who does not fly the flag during the month of July can be fined.
The CCM/MTC kitchen staff celebrated the independence day by preparing and serving a staggering array of Peruvian cuisine--at least six different main dishes of beef, pork, and chicken, tamales, papas puree (a thin and flavorful version of our mashed potatoes), beans, two kinds of rice, several vegetarian and meat salads, tropical fruits, soups, and six different desserts. It was an all-you-can-eat meal.
Peruvans know their breads or pan which come in all shapes and sizes and flavors. Our favorite is pan camote or sweet potato bread, but another favorite is a tiny, sweet roll peppered with anise seeds. This is one of the missionary's plates. I just had to take a picture. He has three different kinds of bread, three desserts, a heaping plate of both rice dishes, lomo saltado (a meat casserole always served with rice and potatoes), a fat chicken leg with thigh, and palitos--marinated beef on a stick.
These are some of the Hermanas. There are six North Americans and eighteen Latinas from all of the five countries in the Area and Nicaragua. In this group are four missionaries going to Mexico. The North American Elders outnumber the Latinos for the first time since we have been here.
Carved fruits and vegetables are common table decorations here.
. The clay pots, one of many cottage industries, are produced near Lima. Most restaurants use only the clay pots for baking and serving the different cooked dishes. Sauces are served in the clay pots as well.
The bread basket was a work of art with several kinds of rolls and bread sticks. To the left of the basket is a swan carved from a cantalope.
Several of the missionary couples went to the National Museum of Peru to see the crafts fair which was there only for the month. Every major city in Peru was there to show and celebrate their local crafts.
Dad and I bought a small, one-piece ceramic nativity from this man. He carved lines into the roof of the creche while we stood there to show us how he does his art. The roof is an interpretation of the Inca hat which is so popular.