Last year, the regional women’s ministry of Cochabamba asked how they could support and connect with our work in rural areas. We facilitated a partnership between them and a women’s syndicate in Pukapampa, one of the communities where we've recently initiated programming.
Following a few initial meetings, the women of Pukapampa asked if their new friends could provide them with a special training: how to make and decorate cakes for special occasions. This may seem like a simple request but Pukapampa is a community with little to no amenities. They have small solar panels attached to batteries that provide enough energy to power a few hours of lights in the evening, but do not depend heavily on electricity, and are without indoor plumbing or potable water. There are no refrigerators and all cooking is done over a fire or in a mud, wood-burning oven.
The Cochabamba women whipped up a recipe that could be done relatively easily, packed themselves into a fifteen-passenger van, and headed out at 5am for the four-hour drive. When we arrived, we did a devotional together and then everyone got to their task. Some started giving instructions, some handed out tools and ingredients, others started preparing lunch, and one group gathered the children for games and activities.
I am always amazed at the bond that can be created over such a short amount of time when people work together with their hands. We talked about our lives, trials, worries, and faith as we whipped egg whites to a stiff peek. At the end of the day, our arms a little soar and our hearts lighter from new found friendships, we settled in to enjoy the fruits of our labour. The cake was cut and shared in celebration of our host’s birthday. With full bellies and fuller hearts we headed back to the city, already planning our next visit.
A party without cake is just a meeting ~ Julia Child