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A delicious occasion

Editor’s Note: The following post was written by Nate Mortenson.

Community work hours are a required contribution students make at the University of Carmen Pampa. It’s part of students’ life here. They study and work on campus when they don’t have class. Many of the students work in areas where they already are skilled. Some guys lay bricks for the new bathrooms, some of the ladies make a twine-like cord from the leaves of a palm tree to use in the gardens on campus. One project going on right now is the construction of a brick oven

The oven is being built to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cooperativa. The Cooperativa is the student-run food cooperative that feeds the whole campus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This brick oven will be inaugurated for the anniversary, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out.

Once the oven is finished the students will use it for special occasions. These ovens are wonderful for roasting pork, baking bread—really, just about anything. And if you know me, I love cooking and can’t wait to try out this oven for myself. My first plan is to try out oven fired pizza. Imagine that: oven fired pizza with organic veggies grown from our very own garden, fresh cheese from Coroico, and some pork sausage produced by our very own veterinary students and missioner Tom Little. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

This oven is just a small project the students are involved in while studying at the UAC. I love this kind of education community. It’s a place where life skills and trades are learned right alongside your academic studies.

Mary and Nate recently returned from two years of mission at the rural Carmen Pampa University in Bolivia.

Nate, the youngest son of nine, hails from La Cross, Wisconsin. Mary grew up picking strawberries in small-town Minnesota. The couple met at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where Mary studied sociology and outdoor leadership and Nate studied Spanish and geology. They share a passion for food and bicycling, and a desire to set their marriage on a foundation of service, simplicity, and a deeper global understanding.