It would have been easy to feel lonely and strange on this birthday… entering the late 20´s and far away from everything familiar. As it was, though, I had a blast!
The night before we all piled in the back of a pick-up truck and drove 40 minutes to Coatepeque to feast on Chinese food. I felt so lucky to be surrounded by my Español teachers and Mt. School amigas y amigos. It was a night filled with jokes and laughs and a beautiful canopy of sparkling stars on the drive home. Someone had brought their Ipod and portable speakers on the journey and we blasted La Roux and Fergi and bounced around with a lot of spirit as we made our way back to the School.
On my actual birthday I was treated to a dessert of a breakfast at my host family´s house – rice in a bath of rich hot chocolate and sweet bread cookies. My host mom, Cecilia, told me they usually have rice and hot milk, but, since I can´t have milk she thought she´d try hot chocolate. She was surprised that it was such a hit… obviously she doesn´t know me well!
Before lunch, Joel presented me with a gorgeous vanilla cake frosted with sugary vanilla icing and pink letters spelling out Happy Birthday in English. The cake was killer, thick and heavy and with a slight banana flavor. Rony, my teacher, told me that it´s traditional in Guatemala to take a bite out of the cake before cutting it. I didn´t believe him, but he was very persistent, so I did it. And, of course, then he shoved my face down into soft, sticky frosting. We all laughed like crazy.
It was a blast, this birthday. I don´t feel any older, any different. I feel lucky and happy.