Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Peruvian Christmas in Madrd

A wonderful couple, Jorge Zegarra and Giovana Aguero, friends and fellow ward members, invited us and Sister de Schweinitz to have Christmas dinner with them. (Their son, Thedius Zegarra, is one of Beverly's piano students). We loved the opportunity to be with them and several other Peruvian families living here in Madrid.

The evening started around 8:30 pm when we visited members' homes, being greeted with the traditional Spanish/Latin American hugging and double cheek-to-cheek air kissing, giving gifts to them (Scott and Beverly gave each family a print of four pictures of the temple), being served a snack, and singing Christmas carols. For some of the visits we were joined by Papa Noel (Santa Claus), played by Manuel Niñán:

All of the families lived in nearby apartment buildings:

Even at night, people have their clothing hanging to dry outside their apartment windows:

One of the members of our group, Hermano Morales, wore his Santa cap and lighted glasses:

Even Scott and Beverly wore Santa Caps, lent to us by Jorge (smiling at left)

The first stop was a visit to the Monasterio family:

The second stop was to the Diestra family. The two older children in the center are Beverly's piano students, Ángel and Mari:

Next we visited the Cuéllar family (they are from Bolivia):

We visited Sister Virginia, who was very surprised by our visit:

We then visited the Vélez family:

Finally, we visited the Pacheco family. The youngest of the children, Samuel, is also Beverly's piano student:

Here Jorge (far left) and Giovana (far right) are shown with their friends, los Morales, who also went caroling with us:

Scott and Beverly relax before dinner in Jorge and Giovana's apartment, decorated with Christmas decorations and Church photos:

Like many families in Madrid, Jorge, Giovana, and Thedius had a "Belén" (meaning Bethlehem or Nativity scene):

Jorge pops the cork of the "champín" (a non-alcoholic drink):

Right at midnight, we all gave a Christmas ''toast'' to each other:

We gave another toast sitting at the table getting ready to eat:

Our first course was a very Peruvian salad with lettuce, ham, and potatoes:

Our second course was turkey with a delicious pine-nut sauce:

Scott's plate with pieces of turkey (with pine-nut sauce on top) and potato (boiled and cold, just like Peruvians like them) with a hot (picante) sauce made wtih Peruvian ají:

The third course was dessert (made by Miriam):

Peruvians (and Spaniards) consider fruit salad to be dessert (this one was made by Beverly):

We really enjoyed spending Christmas Eve with our friends in Madrid. It was one of the most memorable Christmases of our life.

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