This could get lengthy, but I will try my hardest to streamline it.
Last Sunday marked the 53rd birthday of my Uncle Fernando. Because he lives in La Paz with his wife, Ximena, and was in Sucre all week, we ended up throwing a party in our home. A huge portion of the family was there, and I am pretty sure I was the only person below the age of 30. It sure was nice. Adults know how to party. Just a nice, breezy afternoon spent feasting under umbrellas and enjoying the company of family is as good a party as any. I much prefer that over a dark room, high heels, blaring music, sweaty people grinding other sweaty people, and trying to avoid stepping in vomit thanks to all those that find it fun to get completely wasted. The party started at 1:00 in the afternoon and everyone was out of the house by 8:00. I thoroughly enjoy watching a family be happy together. It is something I haven't seen too much of in the states. We seem to neglect our family members because we know they will still love us when we treat them horribly. We treat new friends amazingly in the hopes that we will have another person to call when we want to complain about the family or cry about our problems. Friends are the only people that understand us, right? I realize now it should be opposite. Friends come and go, and family is always tied to you. Family always comes first. Bolivians just seem to get that.
Next on the list of Randomness. Student Day, Valentine's Day, and the first day of Spring all occur on the same day in Bolivia. My morning started out as a big party at my school. All the teachers and students participated in various skits, dances, and musical performances. The day was most special for me and my graduating class. After the performances, my class continued the party as the younger children left to attend class. As my classmates sat before the school's stage, various groups of very young students entered the stage to perform traditional Bolivian dances for us. All my friends were remembering when they were young and had performed for the graduating class. After the adorable performances, we lined up to enter the stage. As we stepped on stage, each child greeted us with a hug and a kiss as they gave each of us a flower and a pin. At this point, my class started singing some sentimental song. I grinned cluelessly at the front of the stage as all my girlfriends started getting teary-eyed. Thankfully, that ended quickly, and we returned to our seats to feast on empanadas and Fanta while Chompas and various other wicked-awesome teachers toasted to OUR awesomeness. I was deeply greatful for a direct address from Chompas, my art teacher, and Leche, the class president. They are really trying hard to make Laura and me feel at home. From teary-eyed speeches we headed back to the main plaza for a dance in the fresh air until lunch time. It was at this time that Valentine's Day flowers, chocolates, and balloons were passed out. It is the equivalent of Ho-Ho Grams for Christmas at DHS. Very fun, and I received a flower from Chesko, the class clown. The festivities finally wound down that morning, but I was prepared for a little more fun in the afternoon.
I offered to take Jorgito to see a movie since we were both free. I don't know the title, but it was a great comedy with Eddie Murphy. We were both alone in the theatre while waiting for the film to start when "Thriller" started playing. Jorgito is absolutely obsessed with "El Rey de Pop," so we decided to have a little fun. I walked him to the front of the theatre and we started dancing like maniacs. Cory and Carl, only you two would know how fun that could possibly be. ;) When we caught our breath, the movie began, and Jorgito just loved it. Surprisingly, I understood all the Spanish, more or less, and I loved it as well. We both left the theatre laughing as we walked to Abu's home a couple blocks away.
From there, we all took a nice long walk. Our hope was to find a vendor of futbol jerseys, and we were successful. Jorgito and I are now looking quite lovely in our matching Sucre University futbol jerseys every time we cheer before the television. "Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool! " On the way back to la Casa Rodriguez, the three of us stopped for a gyro. Abu is a regular in the restaurant, as she lives right above it. She was insistent that I try a gyro. It was tasty. I shall return. Nana, nobody could ever take your place, but Abu really makes a great substitute when in need of a little grandmotherly love. So that was the end to a great day. I returned home that evening and slept like a baby. "Como tronco," as Jorge puts it. Jorgito and I still chuckle about the movie. He just gets cuter by the minute. His birthday is this Friday, so I am sure I will have a nice blog about that soon.
Next on the chain of events is a birthday party of two of my friends, Fercha and Cecilia. Two very unique girls that I have come to love. I got all dolled up that evening and arrived with Ori at Cecilia's home by 9:30. I wasn't entirely prepared for such a party. It was like right out of an American film where all the kids are crowding in the kitchen trying to get at all the liquor. The table was packed, and the booze kept coming. As soon as everyone walked in the door, alcohol was the first thing on the mind. Laura and I finally found a comfortable seat so we could just watch everyone rapidly grow dumb. After chatting for a good two hours, I was thrilled to visit with two girls. Because they too do not enjoy grinding with a bunch of drunk people, they made plans for a midnight trip to a concert in town. Of course, I was all on top of that. We made it to the concert by midnight and I was in heaven. Hippies, tourists, great Blues music from a local band, graffiti, and good sober company in Sucre, Bolivia. I don't think it gets any better than that. Does it? It does.
We were accompanied by William, a completely adorable classmate of mine. The last time I had talked to him was when he was stuffing his mouth full of coca leaves on our trip to Potosí. I was a little put off then, but last night was just adorable. All the boys are such gentlemen here. As I was the only one in high heels that night, and we had to do a bit of walking, William was always at my side ready to catch me in case of a fall. And, of course, I nearly fell. He stood by my side the whole concert and kept staring at me because he and the girls were so thrilled that I was loving the music. Every time I smiled at the music, I looked at him and he was already staring at me. How funny and completely adorable. Now if only I wasn't 5 inches taller than him. In the middle of the concert, he asked me if my friend Bernarda knew where I was. I was confused. I am a big girl now and can go have a little fun on my own. He sensed my attitude and explained that he didn't want Bernarda to worry about me. Does that get any cuter?! It isn't as if he is entirely unique in his gentlemanliness though. All the boys are generally the same. I will miss that. And this is coming from the girl that used to hate all that gentlemanly conduct bullhonky. I can fend for myself, but I certainly don't mind if someone else wants to step in and do the fending. I am a sucker for a gentleman. Hint, hint. :)
So we made it back alive and happy, and that was pretty much the end of my night. I reentered the party to say goodbye while Jorge was on his way to pick me up. Everybody was nuts and one was passed out on the couch inside the door. Definitely amusing. I don't know if I will ever adjust to such partying, but I can sit there and laugh at least. I am going to end this blog finally, and go make a delightful fruit salad for dinner while the rest of my family eats burgers and fries. By the way, I got sick one more time. Hopefully the last time, though I am happy because it has given me a good excuse to not eat hamburgers anymore. Maybe I will get skinny after all.