Monday, November 12, 2007

Thirteen Quinceñeras!

Thirteen girls swishing elegantly (mostly) side to side in their long pink dresses, happy that this day had finally come!

Turning fifteen is a momentous occasion in many Latin American cultures and Nicaragua is no exception. Since Casa Santiago isn’t your standard family (not even the biggest families in Nicaragua have nearly 300 kids), all the girls who turn 15 celebrate their Quinceñera together.

During the evening, the girls received the last gift of a toy from someone special to them to signify the end of childhood. One girl was presented a stuffed animal from her sister who told her through tears how special it was to be her best friend.

It was not lost on the audience that these girls couldn’t take growing up together for granted. Those children who happily celebrated this night only got to Casa Santiago by losing nearly everything (fortunately NPH has a policy to take in all siblings possible, and extends age limits in these situations, in order to keep them together).

And then on to more joyous moments, dinner, dancing and cake!

"ya queremos pastel" means "we want cake already!"

Seventy five pounds of sugar, seventy five pounds of flour, over six dozen eggs (all from the NPH farm!) and you’ve got more than enough cake for almost 300 kids and nearly 100 adults! By the end, they were handing out what were more like little logs of cake instead of pieces!

Since cake isn’t super common here, it can often go really wrong. But while this cake was dense and somewhat heavy, it was still moist and had a great flavor of vanilla with a pineapple filling. I’ll just have to remember to save more room next time; one piece was enough for me this night!

Even the sunset got the color palette right for the night, just outside the church during mass

No comments: