Monday, September 12, 2011

Party Time!

Below us live two families, one mother and her college-aged daughter and a young family, David, Jhiancarla and Marcos. Up to this point our relationship with both families has mostly consisted of polite greetings as we come and go, "oohing" and "ahhing" over our girls while we greet the one families son or pet the dog of the mother and daughter. We often talk with them due to the lack of water we have in our apartment as well. A couple of times we have traded cookies and sweets for a piece of cake, neighborly transactions that don't compute to much.

On Friday David invited us to attend the birthday party of his son, Marcos. Marcos turned one on Sunday and it is a birthday often celebrated with a large party here. We have been told that many people will borrow money or go beyond what they really should in order to throw a large party for family and friends. We were thankful for the invite but slightly hesitant as well. This was the first time we have been invited to an event excluding other missionaries or people that we know from our church. To be quite honest, it took us out of our comfort zone but we are thankful we went.

The invite said 1pm on Sunday afternoon and although we knew it wouldn't start then we weren't sure when it would. Thankfully we didn't have far to go but we had two very anxious little girls who wanted to know when the party would start. We did one preliminary check around 1:45 and let the girls run down for themselves but those who were present were seated in the house, not out on the porch where the tables were set up so we all headed back upstairs. Around 2:15 the music started.

Music is one of the specialties when it comes to Latin/South America. If it's not loud, it's not on. Nathan and I laughed about the fact that we even checked to see if anyone was around without the music starting. We should know by now!

The girls were excited to be down there but quite shy as well. They had tables set up for the adults and small tables for the kids. It was awkward for a while. The music was on and off as the clown (must-have at kids' birthday parties) was getting things set up for his show and the guests obviously all knew each other (except us, of course). I went to the kiddie table for a while and spoke with two little girls there (kids are SO much easier to approach than adults when learning a language!), cousins of Marcos. Anne and Addi became comfortable enough that I soon joined Nathan at one of the adult tables where a young man (13 or 14) was very helpful and willing to talk to us.

Addi's reaction to the clown. She gave him her balloon when he tried taking her hand.

The rest of the party was music, food and the clown show. We enjoyed lots of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, jello, popcorn, cake and after all of that a full meal including chicken, fried bananas, potatoes, a tomato/onion/carrot salad, and camote (a type of sweet potato, I think).

At the beginning of the event Nathan offered to take pictures for them so we were able to take photos and video without feeling quite so awkward about it. They appreciated the offer and she was quite surprised to find out that we owned a camera. :) Most people just use their cell phones for pictures.

Again we are very thankful we went and hope that we can continue to build our relationship with their family, something I've been praying about for a while but hesitant to do with a lack of language. We are thankful for the opportunity God provided. Be sure to check out more pictures here and video here.

The clown set these guys up on chairs, had them lay back and then took the chairs away!

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