Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Goodwill Ambassadors

Being part of a small non-profit organization means getting to wear several "hats". For instance, this week we are wearing our Goodwill Ambassador hats making the rounds to the various tent meetings or conferencias that are being held in the local churches. The start of the dry season and vacation from school sets the perfect stage for large fellowship gatherings and parties. We usually get invited to lots of activities around this time (weddings, graduations, youth rallies and tent meetings) and can't make all of them, but try to when we can. Sunday and yesterday we were in Paxot II at the youth conference. We took advantage of the large crowd to show off some new energy efficient wood-burning stoves (saving up to 70% on wood burned) and water filters. Several people were interested as we demonstrated the models and a few went ahead and signed up for orders. Our goal is to sell them at cost, offering to bring them up from the manufacturing plant for free and helping the family install it. It's tempting to give them away for free, but they are a good price. One brother came up and thanked us for showing the technology because he often worries about how much firewood he is having to buy now that his families' forrest has been used up already. He said he doesn't think his children will be able to afford firewood when they have their families. It was interesting how many men were interested in the stoves (they are the ones who have to cut the wood or buy it!).

Today we head to Chuchipaca for their inaguration service for their new building. We are really excited for them as they built it with their own funds, and some donations from local congregations--no U.S. subsidizing! We will spend the night and enjoy some preaching, eating and fellowship and children's programs tomorrow. These are exhausting days, but it is a great to see the large number of Christians worshiping together,and to take advantage of the education opportunites we are presented with.
Step right up! Everyone crowding into the small kitchen to see the stove.
Kemmel doing a stove demonstration. Look at all the men!

Folks lining up for chow time.

Our co-worker Mario Rosas setting up the industrial-sized tamale cooker--this was a hit with the ladies! Kind of small for the 3000 or so they needed to crank out, but it sure cooked fast. And without smoke!

Waiting for lunch to get started. Still smiling after starting their day at 3:00 am.

Look at those huge pots of tamales cooking! They keep about 8 fires going in the middle of the room at all times. Despite taking out several rows of roof tiles, the kitchen is always like a smokehouse. (I think our carbon monoxide levels are still pretty high today!) Their huge pots are too heavy for the smokeless stoves they have. We are thinking of bringing in an engineer to give ideas on how to keep the smoke levels to a minimum in there.

The meat-cutting group. They butcher a bull for these get-togethers and feast on it for 2-3 days. Day one is "inerds stew" as we call it. They were extra sweet to us and gave us a small piece of grilled steak instead! After that it's beef stew, steak, etc. for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Mario trying his hand with the new stove.

Real men wear flowery aprons! Juan "Canche" Gonzales showing off his kitchen garb.

1 comment:

Mo&We said...

Yum! What I wouldn't give for some tamales. We need to make some when you come for Christmas. We hope you get to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and hope it's a good one. Love, Mama and Daddy