Michel’s Musings- Week 5Written by carrie.haines on Jun 28, 2009 in HeadlinesUncategorized - No Comments
San Juan is kind of like the winter solstice here. People do all sorts
of crazy things and have many odd customs. There is a lot to do with food and there are particular foods that they make like empanadas and beju (which is mandioca flour, corn meal, cheese and milk) You cook this rather dry mixture on a charcoal grill and then flip it over in the pan. The pictures are on snapfish (if I ever get them uploaded).
Our group participated in many of these games but the one that was the most fun was when Eladia, Diana, and I joined the neighbors across the street. All the eligible girls are supposed to put five kernals of corn in front of them. A chicken has been shut up in a box for a day.
At midnight, you all gather in a cirlce and put the corn in front of you. They bring the chicken out and blindfold it. However, that is easier said than done. We finally got the blindfold on the chicken and stood it in the middle of our circle when it simply fell over. We took the blindfold off (remember this is a very dark midnight) and set the chicken up in the circle. It promptly ran right through the circle and then we had to go off in the dark and catch it. Finally, we used the blindfold tied to the leg of the chicken to keep it in the circle. It simply stood there. We tried everything to get it to eat. The girls put more kernals of corn in front of them. Finally, it went crazy and ate every single piece of corn in sight. Unfortunately, if you had 5 pieces of corn in front of you and it ate all five pieces then you won´t get married for 5 years. (If it eats only one piece of your corn then you will get married in a year) Since Vivi had 20 pieces of corn in front of her and the chicken ate all 20 pieces, we don´t see marriage soon for her. The chicken didn´t eat any of Diana´s corn until the very end so we´ve changed the rules and said that the last person to get married will be the first person where the chicken ate the corn. If this all sounds very confusing, it was and we were just sitting around watching this crazy chicken and laughing ourselves silly. I have pictures and will try to get them posted within the next week.
My other San Juan pictures are copying right now to Snapfish. They also include the birthday party for Angelic who is one of our volunteers. It was a fun birthday and we enjoyed the party. One of the trainees, Dina from Seattle, is a very creative artist and she made Angelic a birthday card with a little caracture of each of us. I´ve posted a picture of that too.
My time is up so I must close. We´re off to Villaricca tomorrow and won´t be back until Saturday!