Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tómbola in Esquivel

My girlfriend Sonia belongs to a group of lay people associated with an order of nuns based in Canada that has three convents in Lima, one of which is just a couple of blocks from where I live. The asociados get together every couple of weeks to organize small projects to help people in need. Last weekend some of us went to a tómbola that was organized by a group at another convent in Esquivel, north of Lima, to raise money for maintenance of the school that they operate there. A tómbola is sort of a random sale of donated items. People donate things ranging from sacks of sugar or rice to clothing to toys. Each item is assigned a number. Then they hire a band, cook a bunch of good food, organize games for the kids (like ¨fishing¨ for prizes, above), and entice people to come and buy the things that have been donated. For 30 cents you can draw a number and receive the prize associated with that number.

They were serving pachamanca, a dish that is baked underground in banana leaves and usually consists of pork, chicken, lamb, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fava beans and corn. Unfortunately this particular pachamanca included only pork and sweet potatoes, but is was pretty tasty.

This is Sister Gladys, the coordinator of our group of asociados, stirring a big pot of carapulcra, a dish that is made from dried potatoes, fresh potatoes, onions, pork, and a bunch of other good stuff. I think the sisters are going to be eating the leftovers for several weeks!

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