December 2009

A Peruvian Christmas

Last year, we had only been in Peru for a few months when the holiday season rolled around.  We were able to get our homes decorated and a few American-style treats made, but we were still very early in the learning curve to knowing what we could and could not do here.  We also had very little exposure to a typical Peruvian family’s Christmas celebration.  However, this year, we know quite a bit more about the culture and have been able to learn from our friends as we go.


In our first full year in Arequipa we have tried hard to integrate ourselves in the communities of Alto Selva Alegre and Miraflores.  Through ICDU we have opened libraries and taught seminars on urban gardening.  For Christmas we decided to take the advice of our Peruvian friends and throw two parties, one at our library in A.S.A and one close to a new library up in Miraflores.  These traditional holiday parties, called chocolatadas, were mainly for the kids, but it gave us a great opportunity to meet more of our neighbors and spread the word of what ICDU is about here in Arequipa.


We’ve enjoyed the girls’ experience of our first baptism.  On the way to the water, Shaye was very curious about Jose Luis getting “babertized.”  Most often since that day, when Ana prays she thanks God for “Jose Luis and bapteezy in the water.”  The ritual made quite an impression on the kids—and on us as well.