Footprints to Zanzibar

Christmas Day 2013 in the Village

THE TUTUMA FULL OF MOQOCHINCHE (the traditional gourd village bowl full of spiced juice made of dried whole rural highland peaches) THAT DOÑA ABUELITA PASSED TO US.IMG_1759Gathered for breakfast at that same wooden round table Christmas morning we discussed a bit of Dallas Willard, where, in particular in his “The Spirit of the Disciplines” book he waxes eloquent in communicating his passionate belief that modern-day dichotomization of life into “spiritual” versus “nonspiritual” categories, is DAMAGING to persons and to the church, and that the practice of basic “spiritual disciplines” such as prayer, Bible reading, silence, solitude and SERVICE, among others, can be extremely helpful to the Christian.

Just then, ancient Doña abuelita’s cane was heard tap-tapping slowly on the cement walkway just outside the village house and her ancient, grizzled head, topped by the ubiquitos black dusty misshapen felt bowler hat appeared outside the screened window.  One of our group quickly went out to speak in Quechua – her only language – with her and returned to announce, “Doña abuelita needs 80 adobes moved, so, how about it, boys?”

Seeing as the “boys” in question were our four sturdy and kind-hearted HUSBANDS, all in their fifties! – it touched my heart to see how our “boys” immediately mobilized themselves to rush out there on Christmas morning and practice a bit of what we’d just been “preaching” to ourselves over breakfast – service to widows (of which Doña IS one – an 85-year-old widow, in fact, whose only home and extremely scant possession was a tiny adobe block two-room hovel and bare mud courtyard just outside the house of our friends).

Three hours later (!) our “boys” reappeared in the kitchen, sunburned, covered in bee stings and red dirt, panting and exhausted, and with a couple of three-inch cactus thorns having pierced their shoes.  Adobes are HUGE!  Each one weighs at least 25  pounds!  Doña was content, even happy, and our “boys” were FULFILLED with the activities of their very unusual Christmas morning! Later we heard that it was all over the village that the gringos had moved adobes for old Doña abuelita.


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