07 February 2011
Well world, week 1 of my Antigua life has come and gone --- and I'm settling in slowly but surely :)
This Saturday, I went to the quinceañera of a niece of my host mom, and let me tell you, it was QUITE a production. I'm pretty sure they spent more on this than I will spend on my wedding.
It started with a mass that was to start at 4:30pm (so it started at 5:30), complete with a (very high school) small orchestra and marimbas! Highlights from the mass included the birthday girl's wedding dress; the priest's sermonette, in which he urged the birthday girl (Daniela) to enjoy her parents now because they would soon die, and to only make friends who don't do drugs. Pretty good advice. After the service, we sat and watched the birthday girl get her glamour shots taken in her dress, and then there was a receiving line outside (Wasn't quite sure what to say... "I'm a stranger to you, but way to go- you made it to 15??").
We then went to the reception in the back of the pickup (in dresses, yes- always classy). It was held at the high school basketball court/ Ciudad Vieja banquet hall and and it was FAN-CY...There were seats for about 300 people, and lots of bow-tied waiters. To say that people pull out all the stops for their quinces is an understatement... There were 3ft-tall-ish center pieces on each table (And yes, my host mom did take ours home with her) and a swing haphazardly hung from the rafters (again, we're in the gym) where Daniela ceremonially received her last doll to represent changing from child to young adult after her grand entrance to the party (which, of course, included fireworks). Then there was a father-daughter dance with a toast, and then! Oh, then, there was a special surprise. Daniela's siblings had all pitched in to have a singer come to the party, and so the DJ gave Daniella some clues about who it was (he was on Latin American Idol!) and she had NOOOOOO idea who he could be... Then he came out, and of course! It was the sort of- not really actually famous- I think I've seen your face before Jose Franciso Juarez! Duh!! He sang some (very awkward) love songs to the birthday girl, and then we all ate a Guatemalan-fancy dinner, complete with pitchers of coke and individual bottles of rum on each table.
At about 8:15, the lights went out, the candles were extinguished, and the whole place turned into a disco/ High School homecoming dance!! All the 15year olds flooded the dance floor and started bumping and grinding, right there in front of grandma!! It was complete with fancy lights, a smoke machine, and a bubble machine! [Sadly, no, I did not participate, being 1 head taller and a lot lot whiter than everyone else on the dance floor.] We stayed, watching them dance to SUPER loud reggeaton music until about 9:15, when they STILL had not cut the cake, but we headed home anyway, centerpiece in hand.
It was a really fun night, and definitely not what I expected going into it... But then again, nothing in Guatemala is ever what you expect it to be.
Hope this update finds you well, faithful follower!
Posted by Juli's Journey at 12:18 PM