Yesterday's very tropical scene..................................... Sunday I went to a shower de regalos..............a shower of gifts for a baby.
It was in a barrio, some distance from town and one that I am unfamiliar with. So Senor and I did a trial run in the morning, out to the barrio, but could not find any street signs. I am still not driving the big truck through little streets of little barrios, so I decided to ride new old bike to the shower that afternoon.
At the Navajoa mercado last week I purchased a Mexico soccer outfit that would fit a one year old and to the box I added some sparkly earrings for mom.
Around 4pm, I loaded the wrapped gift, a bag filled with a topochico mineral water bottle, 20 pesos, my house keys, my cell phone and my umbrella in the bike basket and started out for the shower. The girl who invited me is eight months pregnant and speaks no english at all. I had no idea what to expect.
The printed shower invitation stated that the event started at 1600 hours. I guessed about 20 minutes bike time and I would be a little late, but not first to arrive, which I thought might be awkward.
The ride was super hot, no wind, no clouds, just alot of blazing sol and sweat.
It took me much longer than I thought. I got to the barrio, but got lost in all the cross streets. I asked for directions from all the wrong people.
The twenty year old mama to be has a nice job in town. I thought alot of people would know her
but no one could help me with the street names and no one seemed to recognize her name.
I heard a Jimmy Buffet song and rode to the sound thinking maybe a gringo could help me find the right street. But when I got there, four tables were filled with Mexicanos playing cards.
A group of Tecate drinking old men followed me for awhile after I asked them for directions. They planned to help me find the street. They offered me a beer and I said no gracias. Eventually they got bored and walked off. I asked a group of younger men if they knew my friend or the street, but they said no. Inside an aborretes, which is a small grocery store, I asked the lady if she knew where my street was. She said no. I asked her what street was outside her store, she did not know that either. But she smiled at me alot and her children were frozen to their chairs, staring at me.
Almost every casa I passed had a fiesta going on in the yard. Every fiesta played different music. Children laughed and ran in circles, chasing dogs. Men lounged in hammocks and women sat and talked. It was a noisy happy afternoon in the barrio.
I was surprised to see a man I knew and asked him if he knew my friend. He said si.................and pointed to the casa next door. It was her casa and the narrow dirt yard was filled with white tables and chairs, but no people. My cell phone told me it was 5pm.
There were two doors at the casa. The first one was slightly ajar. I knocked. Inside was a table and two chairs. I knocked on the door to the second room and there was the mama to be and about six other young ladies and four children.................all in a 10x10' bedroom, doing their hair and make up. They greeted me, took the package and pointed to the bed where I sat down. I was so hot from my ride, and now................. in the room, were blow dryers and curling irons and hot curlers and so many people. The kids were watching a video, but that got turned off real quickly and they started watching me instead.
I asked if I was too early, but no, no, they all said. The girls continued to get ready for the party
while the children kept asking me if I was hot.
Finally a few more young girls came, but they could not fit in the bedroom so I offered to go outside and sit. A young lady pinned a blue ribbon and a plastic blue binkie on my shirt and I went outside. The children came with me and sat at the table and stared at me. One of the young boys kept repeating good morning. I tried to explain the difference between good morning and good afternoon.
Some other guests arrived and once the girls came out of the bedroom, there were about twenty of us sitting around the tables. The mother to be played mexican cd's on her boom box and organized all of her presents on a table. The outside wall of her little casa was covered in blue and white balloons and a paper stork. Across the street a church sermon was going on in a two story house. They were playing alot of music there as well.
The children finally got bored with me and were put to work passing out plates of japones, peanut snacks and blue gumdrops and blue sugar candies and coke and sprite. People came and went. Young girls about eighteen or twenty came with a baby in their arm and one or two following behind. A huge wind whipped up the hill and through the street and all the snack plates
and pop drinks were blown off the tables. The children went inside and came back out with new plates of snacks and new drinks and a little puppy dog ate everything on the ground.
Not too long after that, it began to thunder and lightning and rain. The children rushed out and took everything off the tables. Everything went into the bedroom. The guests went into the bedroom. The presents went in the bedroom. The boom box went in the bedroom. The paper stork went in the bedroom. It was very crowded............... then the rain stopped.
The children took the tablecloths and wiped down all the tables and chairs and laid the tablecloths back on the table. They put the table decorations back in the center of the tables. They carried out all the gifts and started the music again. The church service across the street ended with many people screaming hallelujah over and over for about ten minutes.
My friend's mother made 380 tamales and a huge pot of frijoles. The children served us.
It was beginning to get dark. The young men I had asked for directions earlier pulled their car up into the drive of the house next door. I was wondering which way town would be. I only knew it was downhill, but I thought if I could ride to the casa playing Jimmy Buffet music, I would find my way out of the barrio. I knew also that if I did not get going soon, Senor would worry and possibly come looking for me.
I tried to say my goodbyes and was politely pushed back down in a chair each time.
We played several games. In one, we had to wrap toilet paper around our own waist and then go to the young mother to be, and wrap our strip around her waist. The person whose strip was the closest to the size of her waist was a winner.
The children came and sat with me. My friend's mother and father sat with me. Other girls and ladies sat with me. Babies were passed around. More tamales and frijoles were passed around.
Finally, with the party still going, I convinced everyone I needed to leave so I could find my house. I said my goodbyes, and took off in the dark on new old bike. I hit potholes, I hit the curb, I almost hit a little dog, children scattered in the streets. I asked everyone I saw how to get to Alamos. There were alot of people out walking. Every single person answered something different, but pointed in the same direction. I finally found a road I was familiar with and went flying down the paved street and saw senor and the truck just making a turn onto the carreterra....................................