Monday, March 10, 2014

3-1 Meghan's Arrival, Chocolate Museum

I got up this morning giddy for Meghan’s arrival.  I dinked around cleaning and editing photos before I had to report to the airport around 8.  I arrived at 8:15 and eagerly looked for her beautiful face to exit the airport gate.  My mind was racing with all the other possible things I could have said and done to prepare for problems, hoping that it was ok that I didn’t do them.  I was having bad thoughts of what would happen if she was lost and I’d given her the wrong phone number, etc.  But, at about 8:25 or 8:30, I saw her.  What a relief to have her arrive safe and on time J

We took a taxi home, though they are expensive from the airport because of the tax on them.  At home we got situated, and I saw all the baked goods from my mom.  It’s super excessive, but I love it.  Oh my goodness the taste of squash bread, Mexican wedding cakes, and chocolate chip cookies is overwhelmingly good on my Peruvian-adapted taste buds.  There is no hyperbole in saying that I wanted to cry with pure joy.  We had breakfast, which was avocados mixed with onions, tomatoes, and cheese.  So great, but Meghan couldn’t eat much.  She was not yet feeling tired from the flight, but her body was very confused about what was going on because she hadn’t slept much on the plane.  She rested for a while, then we headed up to the plaza.  I love seeing everything here with her.  It’s like I get to see everything with fresh eyes.  As she is overtaken by the beauty of the mountains and the churches, I get to have that experience with her.

Our first actual event of the day was the chocolate museum.  The class started at 1:30, and we made it just in time!  It was a very fun to see and do the chocolate making process from the bean to the bar.  I did learn some things for sure.  The cacao fruits grow on the trunk of the tree instead of branches.  They are very bitter initially, and can also cause hallucinations when consumed excessively in their pure form.  The roasting and processing reduced the hallucinogenic component, but leaves the enjoyment J  To make chocolate, we roasted the beans (though they had already been dried), peeled them (easier after roasting), crushed them like the Mayans would have done, took them to a more modern machine to make a paste, then played with it and made various drinks.  I found it funny that I was learning about the Mayans in Peru.  The shells were used to make tea, and the paste was used to make a Mayan drink that would be offered to the gods, then hot chocolate.  MMmm, so good.  The Mayan one was a little rough though.  We then saw the purification process to remove the grains from the chocolate, but it takes 3 days so we didn’t actually participate.  We then got some chocolate paste to put in molds with various spices and goodies to make out own chocolates.  Great experience.

After this Meghan and I walked through the Plaza San Francisco and Mercado San Pedro to the Feria Santiago.  I wanted to show her a little bit of the less pretty, more authentic Peru.  She handled everything even better than I had expectedShe’s also been trying to pick up all the random Spanish words that she can, which will undoubtedly serve her well during her time here. 

We went to lunch (though it was like 4:30) at the Israeli place by the plaza, which was fun too.  I took her down Av. De Sol to show her another route back home, and because it’s a beautiful path to walk down with the Qoricancha and other nice buildings. 

In the end was La Vid in the evening, which was good.  I think she did enjoy the worship, although the teaching was tough.  I didn’t understand everything so I couldn’t translate everything for her.  She said she was surprised by how similar it was to what she was familiar with in the US.  It’s true, the style of the service is very similar to that of IV or Mars Hill.

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