November 7, 2011
Until my hijita arrives and I go to Catamarca, I am kicking it in Rosedal (okay, we are working hard) with Hna Frias. She is from Salta, so today we got a bunch of the elders together and she showed us all how to make empanadas salteñas. Last week, to say goodbye to the Flia Juarez in General Paz, Norma Juarez also showed us how to make empanadas salteñas (because she is also from Salta). So basically what I am trying to say is that, with two rounds of practice, with real salteñas to teach me, I am pro. Both Hna Frias and Norma insisted that real salteñas didn’t have olives or raisins, but did have lots of beef, boiled egg, onion, green onion, cumin, and garlic. But I still like the best the salteñas/bolivianas border empanadas the best, with raisins and olives. In Argentina every province has their own kind of empanadas, with slight variations (more onion, or with raisins or without, sweet or spicy, etc.). And they’re all really proud of their empanadas, and they get really mad if someone tries to alter them (put carrots in empanadas salteñas, for instance). But when I go home I’m just going to make the empanadas with whatever stuff I like, ha ha. And I’m excited to try what empanadas catamarceñas are like when I head up north. 🙂
I really sincerely enjoyed my last few weeks in General Paz. Maybe my spirit knew before my brain did that it was almost time for me to leave, because it was like I was drinking in and enjoying everything. All my senses were heightened. The rain-soaked grass down in the villa was more brilliantly green; the crazy people were crazier, and the kind people were even kinder; Hermana Farah’s cooking was even better, and I was really so happy to be there.
I cried and cried and cried to say goodbye to Sonia, to Hna Farah, to her daughter Karina, and most of all to Nora Peralta. But I promised them all that we would see each other again, when they dedicated the temple of Cordoba.
Funny story: there is this crazy woman named Mariana who shows up to church in General Paz about every other domingo. She says the most ridiculous things and interrupts the spirit of the class and everyone tries to be nice to her even though she’s literally mentally ill and should probably be in some kind of institution. Anyway, Hna Chehda was giving the class in Relief Society; Mariana was there; and out of the blue she interrupts the class and shouts out, “¡Los Testigos de Jehova se van al infierno!” (All the Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to hell!). I almost died trying not to laugh, while Hna Chehda tried to go on with her class, and while Hna Farah, who was a Jehovah’s Witness for years before she got baptized, actually did lose it and bust up laughing. Good times.
I love you guys. I miss you a lot. I can’t believe that in less than SEVEN MONTHS I’ll be home with you! But in the meantime I am enjoying the craziness and Cordoba and soon Catamarca too.