Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

Most of the bE volunteers leave Bluefields over the holiday, either to return home or visit different sections of Latin America. One contingency headed out to do a turbine replacement at a Costa Rican eco-lodge. Others left for Brazil, Panama, the U.S., France. Meanwhile, Ali, Ken, and Luic remained in Bluefields to hold down the fort, bake cookies, and feed the mosquitos.

In order to properly celebrate the holidays in Bluefields, all you need are a couple cans of bright house paint, some twinkle lights, a few over-the-top decorations (easily purchased downtown), and a handful of firecrackers. Apply liberally. Repeat as needed. You will have plenty of time to rest afterwards, during one of the holiday's thirty-seven traditional meals.

Vida Luz, a close friend of bE, invited us to celebrate Christmas Eve with her family, which at least one of us (hint: it wasn't Ali or Luic) was mildly concerned about due to his linguistic-related failings. We were expecting a quiet evening that would later be filled out by a party happening at Hotel Anabas. Following a filling meal of roasted meats and salads and beer at the home of Vida Luz’s sister, Argentina, we headed into town to their mom’s house to meet and visit with twenty additional family members.

Their second-story home overlooks a busy street in downtown Bluefields, with a spacious patio, fresh paint, and a light-up Santa that Luic helped fix (another bE success story). At eleven, Secret Santa activities began and, for some kind reason, we received gifts. At midnight we headed down to the street to set off fireworks that lit up both the sky and the feet of anyone who wasn't paying attention (never, ever turn your back during those first few minutes of Christmas). Fireworks were followed by another meal.

At no point during the evening did Ken accidentally ask to borrow a pig.

Christmas itself was mellower, waking up late and listening to Christmas music online (Luic hinted that the only French Christmas music occurs in churches). After a traditional Nica lunch of noodles and vegetables, we attempted festive-ness with tortilla EspaƱola, honey-glazed carrots, salad, and rum punch ( ½ a pineapple, ¼ a watermelon, two oranges, and rum). Pineapple-upside-down cake and chocolate chip cookies for desert, joined by one of the bE house guards (Victor). While our families up north were looking out onto a thick covering of snow, here it was 80+ degrees and pouring rain. In the waning hours of our very traditional holiday, Luic worked on a final report for bE while Ali and Ken watched Kill Bill Volume 2.

A belated and confused Feliz Navidad from Nica!

No comments:

Post a Comment