Mollepampa – it’s like taking a step back in time.
They say … try not to ever take a step backward. Progress is forward motion. After hiking in the
mountains that surround Llama for 3 hours we reach the town of Mollepampa, in the middle of nowhere, resident count 20.
I have a new sense of respect for those “without.” For those that live lives resembling what must have been common 50 years ago. Traditional dress, traditional work, traditional tools and traditional food.
Homes and hearts open up as the women of the tiny pueblo of Mollepampa teach me to make
empanadas. They ended up teaching me more – a lot more than that, sharing their lives and struggles. It is a life of pure existence from 5 am to 9 pm each and every day. No electricity or running water. Water is bought from a well in buckets and bottles and whatever containers they have – transported by donkeys or in two buckets tied to a thick stick that is carried on their shoulders.
Cooking – well – there is no stove no oven, no microwave, no shortcuts. Everything is prepared rustic “camping style” over an open flame with lena – a type of wood used for cooking. They
regulate temperature with ease and precision. It is truly an art form.
Church is held when the pastor from Llama visits the pueblos – usually once a month. The service is at night after the work of the day is completed and it isn’t in a “church building.” It is in someone’s home. What a blessing to hold church by candlelight and then afterwards walk out and look up at h the night sky bursting with millions of stars.
The following day during the walk back to Llama, trying to catch my breath in the high altitude, I can help but feel I have just be transported back in time. And it’s been a great adventure.