Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dia de los Muertos — Mexican Holiday

On November 2nd, we’re still at Hogar Infantil, because the car won’t start, and it’s getting fixed tomorrow (we tested the battery, it’s not the problem). This is a great place to have your car break down.
The kids are delightful: yesterday they dressed up for Dia de los Muertos and received prices for their costumes. But the emphasis was on preserving the tradition of this holiday. First, we all went to the cemetery to honor the founder Nicholas "Nick" Anderson of this home by cleaning and decorating his grave, For dinner, the children ate a traditional meal with traditional desserts “camote, manzanilla, and calabaza”, bread “Pan Muerto” and hot chocolate.
Today, we built more paper planes, and quite a few trees now have paper plane ornaments. I also flew my e-glider despite the wind. As soon as I brought out the glider, I felt like Charles Lindbergh must have felt after his arrival in Le Bourget 81 years ago: the kids immediately crowded around the plane so that I had to lift it up high just to be able to move.
The flying was somewhat boring, because the wind did not allow low passes and such due to the turbulence caused by surrounding trees and buildings, so I chased the turkey vultures, “zopilotes” around, which the kids loved, of course.
Three 10 year-old boys guided us up a nearby hill, and the thought occurred to me that these are still “real” kids: they ran up there in their flip-flops (we wore boots), warned us about the thorny vegetation (no kidding!), picked flowers for Marcela, and in general had a great time.
On the way down, two of them picked up some big rocks. When we asked what they were for, they said to sharpen the machetes; and they weren’t kidding, they mow the grass with machetes.
We had to tell the children that we have to work from 1 to 4 PM so that we have a chance to publish this post; let’s see if we make it.

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