Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21st, 2008 – We attended something that I never thought I would attend in this lifetime – the baptism of Jesus at Christmas time! Jesus is the son of Dan’s friends. There was a lot of tradition in that church this morning, not the least of whom were Merle and Maria-de-Jesus playing the devil’s advocate right in church just like Uncle Sandy might do. There were probably 1000 people there for their normal Sunday service – inside and outside listening to the service broadcast over loudspeakers, and there were 32 baptisms that morning!! Following the ceremony, there was eating and drinking and Spanish lessons and broken English and French to figure out just what was in the soup anyway. Tripe soup is apparently a favorite of many Mexican families, and eaten especially for breakfast. Lucky for us, Maria de Jesus helped us finish our tripe. Homemade ice-cream was the appetizer for the evening feast, hosted by the parents and Godparents of Jesus. Among other things, there was beer, punctuated by the odd shot of Tequila, and ribs slow cooked to perfection followed by a huge cake. As if we could eat cake after all that! And speeches punctuated by laughing and champagne – a typical family wedding type gathering, except that it was all in Spanish. So we laughed when they laughed and danced with them and communicated with a lot of gestures and hopeful intuition and a Spanish word here and there where we thought we knew them. Being dropped into the Mexican culture was amazing. We like to think we made leaps and bounds in our Spanish today. But more than that, people are the same everywhere. I felt so comfortable there with those people. They are good folks who love and respect each other, who work honestly and laugh openly, who want the best for their children, and bend over backwards to welcome Canadian foreigners into their town. They visited and danced. There were the handful of older men sitting around the bar area, and babies and mamas. The old people looked like the old first nations people in Canada. It was easy to be there, and I felt very connected, despite my language barrier and my blonde family. It was awesome. And after the party, they arranged to have people return us right to our dinghy, easily 45 minutes from the party by car. How can you predict that, or even arrange it? It seems like the more grateful we are about our lot, the more surprise gifts the universe bestows on us. Mexico has indeed been very kind to us.

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