28 December 2005

Christmas Past & Present

Well, Christmas this year was certainly different. I spent the 2 days with y family in Los Dajaos. Relatives came in from the capital and town to spend a couple days. Most of their time was spent going from house to house visiting friends and family. On Christmas Eve day (Noche Buena), we roasted a pig. They roasted it for 10 hours in the yard next door, and we had puerco asado for dinner. This wasn't my usual sit-down-with-the-family dinner though. I think about 15 people came in to eat. Everybody grabbed their own food, and some sat at the table while others took the food elsewhere. Within 15 or 20 mins, everybody had eaten and most had cleared out to go back to the colmado to talk and drink. The women stayed behind to clean up or went to clean their own houses & take care of the kids. Later that night, Fernando put on some music in the colmado and a few of us danced. But about 9 pm, the lights went out and then the radio died, so we all went to bed early.
Christmas day I assumed I would stay around the house with the family, but I shortly found out that half were going to the cemetary, and the other half to a vela (similar to a wake) across the valley. I opted for the vela, and soon found myself on the back of a truck with about 10 other people. A vela isn't a very somber affair here, and the guys grabbed a few beers to enjoy on the way over. It took over an hour to get there, and when we arrived there were lots of people there. Generally for a vela, people come visit the house, eat, and talk. I think the close family was in the house praying and crying all afternoon. It's almost like a family reunion! We were there for a couple hours, but the people I went with didn't know many people there, so we sat off by ourselves in the shade. How's that for a Christmas?
After that interesting Christmas experience, I celebrated Christmas night in a very Dominican way - dancing. Several of us went out to Las Guazaras and danced the night away. I discovered I like bachata, but my merengue needs some work still! We left about 1 am, and I was the party pooper who was too tired to go to another club. :o) For New Year's we'll "amanecer" (wake up) dancing though!
Hope you all had good, or at least interesting, Christmases as well! I definitely missed seeing all the family and friends... but you were all in my thoughts! Here's to an interesting New Year!!!

3 comments:

Krista said...

For once I get to rag on your spelling "my" is spelt my not y. :o) love ya darlin

Pastor Randy said...

Krista,

"spelt" is a type of grain, I think you meant, "spelled."

Dad

Jess, sounds like your Christmas was quite the event. Boy, you are sure learning lots, eh? But that's one of the reasons you're there, correct.

We remember to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings and peace to you.

Randy

Mrs. Stearns said...

we foundout that we won the peacecorp contest. We get to talk to you on the phonein march.How are you doing in the peacecorp.
what kind of work do you. Do you go to house to house or do you
work in a building? Do you have an office? Is it smoky or steamy in the building. Do you help pick the coffey beans or help cook them? do you have to walk to work? Sorry we have so many questions. I (Sam) won the spelling be and Alyssa got first runner up. love, Mattie, Alyssa, and Sam