Sara in the Land of Dengue

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


This was an impressive event. I need to learn more about the customs and significance and when and where the tradition started.
We arrived at the house of Maciella at 4:00pm. The sun was still high in the sky and beating down with force.

People were starting to gather there. There were dozens of what looked to me like bridesmaids and groomsmen…dressed in pastel color formal dresses and the guys in suits. They were all young, but of varying ages – starting at 4 yrs. up to what would seem to be 17 years. The color of the dresses seemed to change as age changes with the youngest in pale green to pale purple to pale blue. Each girl had a very elegant hairstyle decorated with lots of curls and fake flowers. Additionally, it seemed very fashionable and elegant to have drawn on eyebrows that were thick and dark! Additionally, some of the girls chose to wear black gloves with their dresses. This gave the outfit a somewhat costume like look. But nothing compared to the girl who lead the parade
Finally, I got to see Maciella – wow – those are some eyebrows. She looked beautiful in an elaborate pink dress. I started snapping pictures for which she refused to smile in a single one.

At 4:30pm we started to walk to the church which was about 10 blocks away! It was a long hot and slow walk but beautiful too. It was lead by a girl in a white dress with a red cape and wand…I kept on looking for the devil horns but couldn’t find any in her hair…I guess it just goes to show how strong learned habits and thoughts can be to break. Following this girls were the youngest children leading up to Maciella, who was escorted by her father. We walked to the Catholic church and attended mass. There was a special part that was held for Maciella.

It was the first time I have been in a Catholic church to actually attend mass. It was a very different experience. The priest was dressed in heavy robes and there were young boys who would hold the bible for him to read from, wipe the sweat from his forehead and it seemed to assist his every action.
The road to and from the church was a busy street and on the way back there was a stray dog sniffing through the trash. I remember thinking how hungry he looked as he wandered into the street continuing his search. A couple minutes later there was the screech of tires, breaking glass and a yelp. We all looked back to see the dog rolling out from under the car. The same hungry pup came out of his roll and fled away down an alley. While it did not seem to really phase that many people, it definitely put a damper on my mood.


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