Last night I conquered two BIG firsts:
1. My first time driving in this country.
2. My first time venturing out alone.
Thanks to the sweet English speaking sister who translated for me last week briefly during church, I was made aware of the Relief Society Meeting last night where they were going to make bread.
I bounced between extreme emotions. I went from excitement to dread and everything in-between. Greg came home and told me that I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. Strangely, that gave me the courage to go. When he put it into perspective - I had the choice and the choice was mine to make, I knew I needed to go. I have to "get out there" if I ever want to have a relationship with these people. So after much anxiety and reservations (and maybe a few tears - only a few) I gathered up my flour, oregano, set my GPS and headed out into the Chilean night.
Thank goodness there were only a few cars on the road the whole way there. Thank goodness that upon arrival to the church, the gate was unlocked and doors open. Thank heaven for the sweet sister that was on her phone near the door that pointed me in the right direction. She led me all the way to the kitchen. THANK YOU for those small blessings that allowed me to confidently (well as confidently as I could) walk into a room full of women that I don't know and immediately feel loved.
These women squeal when they see someone they know. When you walk into the room they greet you with open arms and a kiss on the cheek. They talk a hundred miles an hour and I have no idea what they are saying, but they seemed genuinely excited to see me.
I managed to follow along with the help of a few sisters and one of their husbands who spoke a little english. It was a great night. Once our bread was made and in the oven, they pulled out the teacups and saucers and put herbal teas on the table with a teakettle. Not something that I have EVER seen happen before in the states. Maybe the fact that there is not heat in the building motivates this ritual, but I loved it!
Someone made some delicious cake and we ate that with the tea. There was a demonstration showing how to make this amazingly delicious vegetarian patty thing with bulgar (or bulgur) wheat, garlic, onions, breadcrumbs & cilantro that they fried up and it looked similar to a crab cake once done. It was yum-o! I am definitely going to try that.
So we drank our hot tea, ate bulgar wheat cakes, sweet cake, sopapillas and warm bread. I had to roll myself out of there. We laughed. They talked to me in their broken english and I tried to interject a few spanish words, we had an amazing time sitting together and just enjoying each other. I am so grateful that I went.
My first homemade Chilean pan (pronounced "p-ah-n"):
These ladies knead and knead and knead this bread. My arms were about to fall off before I was done! It's very dense. We were supposed to bring something like olives to add to the bread if we wanted, I am not a fan of olives, so I brought oregano. It was yummy! I can't wait for next month's activity!