I meant to blog much sooner regarding the rest of my events that I posted about last time, but somehow time always slips away from me. So here goes nothing:
I went to and helped organized my first bridal shower ever (here and in the states). I was really excited because my host sister came in from San Miguel to help with the event (for her cousin-thus my host cousin Ruth)! We made lots of food and organized really cheesy games. For example, we played that game where everyone has a name tag with a household object on it and you have to use that as the person's name for the entire night or you lose points. My name was Aramario or closet. Although, we did not take it really seriously in the points department, it was just really funny to call each other household objects. We also made dresses out of toilet paper and the bride to be had to pick the better one. My team lost this one, but I still think we made a pretty awesome toilet paper dress. After that we put together a little book of secrets and tips for a new bride. The whole night was just tons of laughing between a great group of women and girls, which is one of my favorite ways to spend time.
The following day was the legal part of the wedding where a lawyer came and the couple signed the official marriage documents. This was a little less fun than the party the night before. It was simply a bunch of preaching, signing of documents, lunch, and then cake. But because of the religious aspect of my community this includes preaching about the "abomination" of marrying two guys or two gals (why can't they just talk about the couple at hand? not sure why it has to include a 20 minute diatribe on the horrors of gay marriage...) and a serious lack of dancing. I kept busy though because I was in charge of sound via my computer, which includes the simple task of playing the national anthem before the ceremony. Then I helped serve in the kitchen and followed that up by recording the rest of the event with cameras. The funniest part of the afternoon though was that I was almost as much of a celebrity as the bride and groom. Everyone (even those who didn't know me yet) wanted a picture with me. Apparently because I am super beautiful and white...It was a little uncomfortable for me just because in my culture the bride should always be the center of attention on this day, but it is also kind of nice and fun to be told how beautiful you are and feel like the center of a little community's world.
Another cultural note here is after lunch most of the people leave immediately. It is the most serious case of eat and run I have ever seen. It is as if the people to eat some meat and that is all. I explained afterward to my host family that in American culture we stay for hours after food and hang out and that it is typically considered really rude to "eat and run." I also found it hilarious because Salvadorans are usually an hour late to everything and are so slow to get somewhere, yet they are so fast to get out of a place when an event is over (especially when the food is gone).
Following these two events I spent more time that week helping my host mom do some work for the school with the computer. I am hoping to make one of my first projects a computer one. I would really love to find a way to bring a few computers into my site and start teaching computer classes. My host mom is dying to learn how to use the computer as are all the teachers in the school. Then I could work on running some classes for students as well. At times, I think about computers as being a luxury and maybe I should start with more basic priorities. But I think teaching computer technology is one of the most sustainable things I could do in my site. For example, I can teach my host mom (the school director and unofficial town leader) and other community leaders how to research, write grants, etc and then they can do so much more for themselves when I leave. Of course, there are plenty of other important and necessary material priorities, but I really do believe in the value of access to information and knowledge too.
When I am not helping my host mom with the computer I usually can be found playing with kids near my house or chatting with my favorite families. The kids right now are really enjoying jump rope, my version of yoga, and my insane unreal version of karate. Or we just play tag, random guessing games, or do running races. During our down time, they like to cover me in temporary tattoos. Ah, I love my job.
To tie this festivity post all together I also had the wonderful opportunity this weekend to take part in a few great events. I spent Thursday with Jesse and his parents (who were here in El Salvador visiting - hi Jesse's mom!!!(she reads blogs)). We drove to the pueblo of Corinto to visit because there are caves with rock paintings that date back like 10,000 years. It was a really beautiful day filled with this awesome archaeological visit, a breathtaking drive, and a fabulous walk through Corinto and the surrounding area. I had one of those moments where I thought to myself, "Man, I have an amazing life to be surrounded by this beauty." I am even more excited because Jesse and I decided that we are going to complete the hike from Upire to Corinto in January (should be about 5 hours)! It is even better because Corinto is the amazing pueblo of Tricia meaning visiting her more often! It was a spectacular day. Thank you Jesse and parents for inviting me and having me along :)
The final festivity which I am still kind of enjoying. I am currently in the capital for a combination of reasons. But one of them was a peace corps soccer game yesterday versus JICA (Japanese version of peace corps) in the giant stadium here in San Salvador. It was so much fun to play soccer in a giant stadium! Even better because we dominated! :) Then we had them over to our office for lunch and games. A great time to meet more JICA volunteers and hang out with all my friends here.
Finally, CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Yay. The best festivity ever. Oh yeah and my birthday. getttt ready.