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Published: February 2nd 2011
Before the Baptism
Severo, Mia, Fernanda, Lalo, Isabel with baby Valentina, and Ilse on the steps of the church before Mass and Baptism.
The family went about their business of school and work and left Mia and I to sleep in as usual. With a two hour time difference and only staying here for 5 days, I see no point in waking up early and then having to adjust all over again. Ok, maybe I slept in later than I normally do but I did spend 20+ hours traveling yesterday and my body is feeling it today. Isabel and Severo returned with Fernanda just after the noon hour. The kids were pulled out of school early today in order to get cleaned up and ready for the ceremony. I went through my suitcases of treasure and found a sweater that was perfect for Isabel so she put it on to wear today. Everyone in the family picked out a fleece jacket to wear as well since it tends to be colder in these parts. The girls tried on tons of shoes and not one of the shoes I brought for them fit! So only Isabel, Severo, and Lalo ended up with shoes on this trip. I will have to get some smaller tennis shoes and send them down for Fernanda and Ilse.
Isabel holding the baby Valentina while the priest baptizes her with holy water. The water is scooped up with a ceremonial shell and poured over the head.
Severo were asked to be the padrinos (godparents) for the two youngest children of a family in town. I had been to a bautizo (baptism) in Oregon before but I wasn't aware of all that it entailed and everything that went on behind the scenes. There were two separate bundles for each child and it contained the complete outfit down to their socks and underwear/diapers. We went over to their house about an hour before the ceremony so that they could change the kids into the white ceremonial outfits. The 3 month old baby girl and the 18 month old baby boy wear the same size diaper for financial reasons I suppose. The baby Valentina rode with us over to the church and we waited for everyone else to arrive. I had never been inside the church before. Even though José's family are Catholic, they don't attend misa (mass) on Sundays. Being a non-christian, it felt strange to walk inside and walk all the religious ceremonies that are involved. There must be some hidden script that everyone has memorized and recites on cue because I didn't understand the majority of it. I chose to remain seated throughout the ceremony instead
A pig was slaughtered for the party and made into delicious carnitas.
of getting up and down and kneeling. The ceremony wasn't too painfully long and then the babies were brought up and baptized with the holy water by the priest and then their little heads were dried off and little caps were put on them. The little boy Julio César was enjoying chewing on the wooden cross on his necklace.
After the misa and bautizo was over, we headed back over to the house to pick up the basket of items that were needed for the second part of the celebration. When we returned to the parent's house, the fathers lit the tall candles for the children and exchanges promises of caring for the children and other stuff that I didn't understand. The baby Valentina was passed around for everyone to kiss and then everyone filed through the bedroom to kiss Julio Cesar who had fallen asleep earlier. And then it was time to eat!
The family had slaughtered a pig and turkey especially for the celebration. As a testament to the freshness of the carne (meat), the pig's head was still sitting in a shopping cart and a brother-in-law was in the back corner cutting up the meat and cooking
What's On the Menu
The menu included a plate of carnitas with nopales (cactus) and sauted onions and a large bowl of spicy turkey molé.
up the carnitas. They were served on stryofoam plates with sautéed nopales (cactus) and onions so delicious. There was also spicy turkey molé but I wasn't about to try it. The meat was soft and tasty, almost as good as the carnitas back home. I stayed for a little while but left early with the girls so I could take care of things at the store.
There are so many things that I need to take care of in the store and I lack the time and supplies to get it all done. I had these beautiful cabinets built and they have barely any clothes hanging up. The rest of the clothes are still in the plastic bags on the shelves. I need more storage area for all the items that don't fit on the shelves, lots more hangers to fill up the clothing rods, and spice up the place. It's going to take time though and more resources. Right now there are boxes full of merchandise just sitting behind the counter and it's messy. There were lots of clients coming in and out and going through all the clothes even before we had a chance to get it out of the suitcases. We actually sold half of the baby girl clothing that I had purchased for one of the teachers in Puebla. Isabel had said that she didn't think we needed clothing in those sizes but I'm thinking that we need to have a small selection with options for people with baby girls and boys. The last client left around 10pm and I was able to run to the internet cafe for a few minutes and catch up on my accounts. The worst part was that I completely forgot to stop by my favorite panaderia (bakery) and pick out my fresh bread for the night. I won't forget tomorrow night!
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