Guatemala / Ecuador 2017
Sunday 7/23/2017 - The AfterpartyToday we woke up slowly after last night's fiesta. Luckily, it was Sunday, so I didn't have to work. Everyone slept late, and we all started to convene in the late morning.
We gave each of the girls a blouse, Eddy a sweatshirt, and Ian a little outfit. In addition, we gave Paola a T-shirt which says "Nurse in Progress: Loading...please wait." We are really proud of Paola for going to nursing school. She likes to study and she has admirable ambition to help people.
We had leftover chicken and mashed potatoes from last night's party for brunch. Even though it is just about out of season, Paulina had been able to find some of Craig's favorite fruit, pitaya (dragonfruit). It is a cactus fruit with an armored exterior and magenta colored flesh. It is much tastier than its counterpart the white dragonfruit, which seems more readily available in the United States. Kevin, Jenn, and the girls had never had it, and enjoyed its sweet taste.
We worked out the week's sightseeing agenda with Humberto. Julia was interested in kayaking, and the family was interested in mountain biking. Jenn had done some research and knew that there was a ceramics workshop in San Antonio Palopo that she wanted to visit. Craig and I wanted to go to San Andres Xecul for the first time, and we also wanted to go to see Maximon in Santiago Atitlan and visit the market and mask workshops in Chichicastenango.
We figured out a schedule which would make sure that we each got to do our desired activities, while also allowing me to work.
We hung out with Eddy and Aracely while Kevin, Jenn, and the girls took a little siesta. By mid-afternoon, other members of the extended family arrived for lunch: Juan Carlos, Yolanda, Junior, Fatima, Victor, Rosa, Neli, and Julisse.
Juan Carlos also brought his uncle's family, who had arrived last night from Guatemala City. This included his aunt Nancy and cousin Rosmery, along with Rosmery's husband and their wide-eyed toddler, Manuel. Manuel is shy and quiet, and he is adorable. His features don't look entirely local, and we learned that his father is El Salvadorian.
Soon, the meal was ready. It was a very hearty stew containing beef and vegetables. It was served with fresh tortillas and avocado.
After lunch, we did some post-party clean-up. We swept up the pine needles from the floor, and disassembled the legs from the plastic tables. We carried the rented tables and chairs back to the party store next to Humberto's office. It started to rain, which caused the family to kick into gear to return the girls' mattresses to their rooms before they got soaked. One of the many benefits of a big family is that there are plenty of people to rally and get the job done quickly.
Meanwhile, Ian was dancing around to music he was playing on Humberto's cell phone. He has a hysterical swagger when he walks. The kid has a big personality.
Then we all gathered to watch Yoselin open her birthday gifts. Quinceañera gifts are traditionally things like perfume, blouses, purses, toiletries, etc. Yoselin got some very lovely gifts, and soon modeled some of the new clothes that she received.
Ian entertained us by sashaying down the "runway" (dining table), dancing and putting Humberto's hat on our heads. He would then scurry under the table, intrigued by Jenn's painted toenails. He is a character! He doesn't speak a whole lot, but he knows his animal noises and will perform them on demand. Sometimes he even communicates in animal noises:
Steph: "Como estas, Ian?" (How are you, Ian?)
He also "beeps" our noses the way that we had always done to his siblings when they were younger.
We enjoyed more of Lety's delicious quinceañera cake and some tea. By now we were all exhausted and nobody was hungry for dinner. We each ate a banana and then said our goodnights at around 9 o'clock.
Yoselin opening her birthday presents
Watching Yoselin open her gifts: Julia, Meghan, Craig, Neli, and Fatima
Selfie with Eddy