Monday, May 31, 2010

Fabiola’s First Communion

After many months of preparation with her Tia Lola, a catechist, Fabiola was ready for her first communion this Sunday. Mass was at 8:00 and I can’t believe that I ever felt rushed to get to services at home by 10:30. Jonathan and I were glad at least a few of the neighbor’s saw us dressed up and going to church.

San Jose Obrero is a simple church in Sabaneta. The priest wore a long black cosack and the nuns dressed like Mother Theresa. It was Mother’s Day, so the priests’ sermon focused on the wonderful love of the Nicaraguan family. Europeans and North Americans may shut themselves off from each other in their own rooms and surf the internet with little family contact. The Chinese abort their first child if it is a girl.

Things are not like that here where we still love all children and family togetherness.

Fabiola looked beautiful in her white dress and veil. She clutched her candle and rosary in lace gloved hands. I missed the actual moment of the first communion because I didn’t realize it would go so fast.

The piñata (party) was in the late afternoon. We were requested to come early, so we did. Fabiola was still in her white dress and sat in the chair of honor surrounded by her friends. Grown ups were seated around the room staring into space.

The wall of speakers is so loud that there isn’t any conversation. The mingle part of the party doesn’t ever seem to happen at the Nicaraguan parties I have attended. Maybe it is because here in Granada, everyone knows everyone. At first I thought I needed to make an effort and that people weren’t talking to me because they thought I didn’t speak Spanish. But when I look around, I notice no one else is chatting either. I helped pass out the soda to give me something to do.

It is always a challenge for my kids. They just sit in a rocker and look very bored. Silvia keeps asking, are the boys bored? Yes, I say, but it doesn’t matter.

Piñata time. Fabi starts swinging at the church bell piñata with a big stick. All of the kids take turns. The boys swing like mad, blindfolded, and the girls dance and take a powerful swat in time to the music. The piñata master raises and lowers it, creating a dance or a battle depending on whim. As the piñata disintegrates, the kids get closer and risk their lives to grab the candy. Marisela, the best dancer, gets another turn and bangs out a lot more candy. Then the stick is turned over to Jorge, without a blindfold. He beats it down and candy covers the room. The mob descends and tears the piñata apart. Mayhem ensues as about twenty children tear through the yard at full speed chasing and fighting with each other for bits of the piñata. Nobody got hurt and not a single adult ever intervened to tone things down.

I tried to dance a little, but I am very self conscious about my stiff hips and lack of rhythm. I study every one dancing, but still I can’t seem to mimic effectively. My movements are too big and off the beat. After about 4 hours, we left. We ate the delicious chop suey that Fabiola’s grandfather made over a wood fire, but they hadn’t cut the cake yet.

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