Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday’s in Duvergé are starting to settle into a regular Sunday service pattern. I have meetings, interviews, more meetings, more interviews, accounting, and then more meetings. Today I gave my first Temple recommend interview. It was very challenging to give it in Spanish but very rewarding to sign a temple recommend for a wonderful sister in the branch.

Hna. Nelida is the Relief Society President. She hasn’t held a current Temple recommend in 8 years. Not because she didn’t qualify, she just never saw the need to renew it. She has never been able to afford to go back. Even though there is a Temple in Santo Domingo, it is almost a full day’s bus ride to get there. The bus fare alone would represent over a month’s income. Plus the extra cost of lodging and meals makes the chances very remote for her and her husband. But she told me she is determined to return to the temple.

Hna. Nelida is very dedicated to the church and the branch. In fact she is one of those people you might call the back bone of the branch. She is hard working, dedicated, spiritual and committed to the success of the branch. She and her counselors in the Relief Society presidency are all wonderful sisters.

Between meetings this morning one of the men in the branch named Padro, gave Hna. Johnson and I a gift. It was a freshly backed loaf of “Pan de Maize”. That means “Corn Bread” and corn bread is a pretty good description of what it was. We cut into it and shared it with the 4 Elders in Neyba after we were finally finished with the last meeting this afternoon at 4:30pm. It was really good, I liked it a lot. It tasted a little like corn bread but it had a much thicker texture. It was very heavy and dense as if the batter didn’t have much baking powder added to it to make it light and airy.

The Elders said that this “Pan de Maize” is a traditional Dominican dish. It is wrapped in “Ti Leaves” and baked in a wood fired oven. I think the Ti leaves and the wood smoke is what gave it the distinct flavor it had. In Vicente Noble, on our way home, we shared the last of it with the Ap’s there. They all love it too. I have found that trying a new food in a new land can be a lot of fun. And if it doesn’t taste good at least it can be interesting. Well, this time it was delicious.

And speaking of food, every Sunday morning we make the hour and 45 minute drive from Azua to Neyba and we drive through several little towns along the way. One of them is the town of Galvin. We usually drive through there at about 8:00am and see to town butcher at work I his butcher shop. Well…. It’s kind of a butcher shop. His meat cutting table is under a large shade tree beside the road and he has sides of beef, pigs and goats hanging from the limb of the tree. Very unusual… well not so unusual, there are two other butchers in small towns along the way just like him.

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