I had not previously been aware of the fact that turning 15 was such an epic event in the life of a young girl, however, after the last few days of “quincinera” craziness I now see this pinnacle event quite differently.
You would have thought Carla was getting married. Infact, at the Catholic mass that had been put on especially for her, she walked down the isle to “here comes the bride” which made me laugh quite hard (in my mind, to avoid being rude) and I thought considering the preparations this was quite appropriate. I half expected a boy to jump out at the end of the isle and for someone to yell “surprise! Shes getting married!”. I don’t think they know that song is meant for weddings here.
Friday we left for Ibarra (a very large city about an hour from pimampiro where you go if you want to buy anything) at 9 am and spent the day running from store to store buying decorations, flower arrangements, food, clothing and many other preparations for the following day. We had gone to the bakery which is owned by carlas god mother to get some of the pasterys and cake for the party at 10 am. They had not made any of the order yet as they wanted it to be fresh. We went back at 3 and the order was still not done. This was not a big deal as we had many other purchases to make. The day was a lot of fun and I loved the time I got to spend with my little Ecuadorian family until around 7:30 when we, exhausted from the day, went back to the bakery to find that they were still not done. We then proceeded to sit at the bakery for 3 hours and 45 minutes until the cake was done. I have never been so bitter at a cake in my life. I eventually asked to sit in the car as it was freezing outside and fell asleep in the back seat. We then brought the godmother back to pimampiro with us which meant that I had to share the front seat with Carla. Driving on back windy third world roads is not a walk in the park, especially not when you have about three inches of space and your head hits the window over the bumps. Oh, It was a fun hour ride back. As deliriously tired and frustrated as I was I also realize that I should be quite thankful that this has been my greatest “trial” here in Ecuador thus far. I am amazed at how difficult it is for me to have even the slightest semblance of a selfless heart when I am exhausted, uncomfortable and irritated.
The preparations for the party were crazy the next day. I offered to help and they laughed at me since I have no clue how to cook. Things don’t come in bags here… you skin chickens and milk goats for food. In that kind of kitchen, I will be honest, I am of little use. They did find something for me to do though. A giant sack with at least 100 oranges needed to be hand squeezed and my little hands were put to work! It was quite painful by the end of the bag… but I was thankful I was not skinning chickens.
Then, I was moved from this task to something that I am much better/more familiar with. They put me in charge of hair and makeup. I felt like I was back in high school or college going to a dance. For almost three hours I did the girls and their cousins hair and makeup. I had so much fun! Katty has this thick beautiful hair and she has it styled with layers but she doesn’t have a hair dryer and she always wears it up. It looked so beautiful all dried, styled and down.
The party was crazy! It went from 6-2 am! It started with a catholic mass and then we went to a little hall they rented out and had some finger foods and dancing. Then dinner. Then more dancing. Then cake. Then more dancing. What I found hilarious was that the teens didn’t dance! Only the adults! I danced with Carlos my dad for a few songs and with Eddy (my old 5th grade teacher who knows sue and is here for 3 weeks visiting) for a song or two but that’s about it. It was sad because I wanted to dance more but they don’t dance unless your dancing with a guy. Its all partner dancing. It was a lot of fun though.
I just couldn’t believe all the work that went into this party. It honestly was more like preparing for a wedding reception. It was a beautiful little party though and quite an experience to be a part of.