Thursday, February 4, 2010

My First Christmas (the lost post)

in Paraguay.

***Editor´s note.. after receiving that one comment I kept thinking, no I deffinatly wrote something about Christmas, that’s why I thought I sent an email. Turns out I wrote this blog and never got to post it! so here it is…better late then never. See, good things can come out of anything!***

The hottest Christmas I’ve ever endured! I had to leave my new house I’d just moved into for Christmas because my host family’s daughter was coming with her husband to stay for a couple nights. I was invited to spend Christmas at my contact Paula’s house. I had to pack an overnight bag which was difficult because my stuff was still packed in my other bags, and of course my 2 night overnight bag was 2 bags worth of stuff. I have no idea how I do it but I just manage to always have a lot of stuff!! I blame it on all the toiletries! And the pan dulce and bon bon’s I brought as presents.
I met Paula and her three kids in the plaza and she took my bag and her son on the moto back to her house and I walked back with her two daughters. She lives about a 20 minute walk outside of the centro in a more spaced out area. It was beginning to be a hoooot day and after getting back we just sat in the shade. Her husband was busy building the manger, they make them pretty big here out of sticks and palm leaves. Then we went into the field across the street to cut down a coconut flower. The coconut flower is a symbol of Christmas here and it the weirdest looking flower with an interesting smell, I’m not sure I like the smell actually. They even have a Christmas song about that flower. After we ate lunch and had our siesta (much needed when dealing with three kids who want all of your attention and all talk to you at once)! The rest of the afternoon we sat around outside, the two younger kids wanting my attention, the older one writing Christmas letters, and we sweated. Since I couldn’t read in peace I decided to teach the kids Uno, which they enjoyed.
Paula had gone out to get the food for dinner and when she returned we decorated the manger. No Christmas trees here! We put lights on it and all sortsa stuff on the inside visiting baby Jesus. There was an elephant, fish, santa was there, whinny the pooh and tigger and a native American as well as all the original cast. But they didn’t put baby Jesus in yet. After that we got ready for 9 o clock mass at the church back in the plaza. I walked there with Paula and her oldest daughter while everyone else took the moto. Returned from church and got home around 11pm which is around dinnertime on Christmas eve as per tradition. After eating dinner everyone got really excited, fireworks were going off in the streets and the radio was blasting music. My fav part of dinner was when the Village People came on, Macho Man, nice mood setting music.
We were all waiting for midnight to come around, it felt like New Years Eve! We had sparklers and fireworks on the ready…just like 4th of July! 3 holidays in one! finally the radio announced it was midnight and everyone cheered and hugged and set off fireworks like crazy, then we put the baby Jesus in the manger. The clerico came out after that, it’s a traditional Christmas drink almost like sangria in which it has wine and cut up fruit and also sugar (although ours wasn’t real clerico since it was without one due to the fact that Paula’s husband is following the AA program). I danced some disco with the youngest daughter like ya do on Christmas Eve then called it a night! A looong day!
And that’s Christmas! The next day is just a day of rest, no presents or anything special, maybe a bbq for lunch but mostly it’s just a lot of sitting around (which I am an expert at doing now) and it was HOT. I bet it was around 105 degrees. I wanted to call back home but I figured all the cybers would be shut but Paula knew someone who had a cyber and she let me in and I got to use the internet!
So, no santa here, but don’t worry because presents do come. Just to kids and on three king’s day. I think the kids leave their shoes out at night and when they awake there are presents in them. Other than that I’m now settled in my newest house, unpacked last night. It’s pretty chuchi, the have a microwave, that’s how you know.


cutting down the flor de coco

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