Saturday, August 9, 2014

Quinceañera For Rosy

In most of Central America, turning 15 is a huge deal for a young lady.  Many girls receive a party called a quinceañera.  I knew Rosy turned 15 yesterday, August 8.  And, I knew I was supposed to have a cake at the school because of her birthday.  I guessed it to be for her class.  Nicole ordered a cake from PriceSmart on Thursday.

Nicole and I are sharing a car right now because hers is broken.  Nicole buys feeding center groceries on Friday and was going to pick up the cake and get it to the school. 

Thursday afternoon, Karen, Elena and I received pretty invitations to an quinceañera for Rosy at 10:00 on Friday.  I discovered it was for the whole school, not just Rosy's class.  I have become quite good at changing plans and rolling with the flow.  Nicole and I were at PriceSmart when it opened at 10:00.  I grabbed the cake she ordered and chose one more that had no writing on it.  Nicole dropped me and the cakes off at the school at 10:30. 

I was so glad they waited on me to get there before they started the party.  This was a huge deal and it was a complete surprise for Rosy.  I walked up stairs to the room where the party was being held.  Both sides of the stairs were lined with boys holding flowers which were to be given to Rosy. 

I could see her in the courtyard and was able to get my camera ready and shoot as she entered the room.One of the teachers had brought a dress for her to wear.  Her hair had been done and someone had put a little makeup on her.  She was beautiful.  She was radiant.

One of the boys escorted her to the front of the room.

Rosy was asked to say something.  She said she was very excited and surprised.  Happy tears welled up in her eyes, but she never let a single tear fall from her eyes.

It was then told that Rosy was the first girl in school to turn 15 and they were making this special for her.

The entire room was decorated for Rosy.

Each of the teachers said something about her.  One said something about how tranquil she had become.  We all laughed because we all remembered the days she was no where near tranquil.

They asked me to say something.   I am not usually confident enough to speak in Spanish in front of people I do not know, but I was not going to say no.  I told her congratulations on her special day.  I loved her and that she was a beautiful young lady. 

A few of the male teachers and boys danced with her.
Then came the cake. 

While the cake was being cut ( and was I ever glad that I picked up that second cake) every person in the school and said something to her and hugged her neck.

Her dress was flowing.  The teachers had her sit down on the floor.  They spread the dress around her and then placed all the presents on her dress.
She received headbands and hairclips, lotions and perfumes, bracelets and necklaces.  All the things fifteen year old girls love.  She smiled and was gracious as she opened each present.  It was clear to me she really liked the purse.  Her smile was just a little bigger and a little brighter when she saw it.

There were many group pictures. Many, many group pictures.

Rosy was so beautiful.  I just could not stop taking pictures of her.

Elena showed up at the end of the party and asked if she and Rosy could ride home with me.  I told her I was waiting on Nicole and Nicole still had more errands to do.  Elena said they would just ride the bus.  I waited an hour on Nicole and then we had to go to the feeding center to unload the groceries.  When I finally arrived at home, Rosy was anxiously waiting for me.  I had all the presents.  She showed everyone what she got.

She asked to see the pictures.  We came to the house and looked at all the pictures on the computer.  She was happy.

Yesterday was Nohemy's birthday, too.   Rosy shared some of her presents with Nohemy.  She has become a beautiful young lady, hasn't she?

I was extremely honored to be included in this special day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Los Pinos

In 2003, I was part of the team that built a church building in Los Pinos.  That summer as we built, we were able to watch many baptisms.  That church has continued to thrive and grow.  And, has even planted a church where there has been 33 baptisms this summer. 

We have not worked in Los Pinos much in the last few years.  Yesterday two houses were built in Los Pinos and a medical clinic conducted in the church building.  Friday, there will be a food give away.  Nicole and I went to the church building to take some zip-locs to the doctors.

Los Pinos is still as impoverished as ever.  There is still hundreds of kids running around every where.  But the church is thriving and growing.  But the road to get there is much improved.

It has been a long time since I have been up there.  The people in the church have improved their building considerably.  I was happy to see that.  As usual, the church yard was a beehive of activity.  The clinic was being well-run and was of the most organized clinics I have ever seen.  The doctors were able to see over 200 people yesterday.

I talked to Yoselin.  Her family is still struggling just to bet by.  A little help was provided.  Linda is in high school.  I think I found someone that will sponsor Linda's high school so she can finish.  I got another Humano Y Santo Bible study started.  Michelle, I am going to need more books.

Nicole and I were not there long.  But, it was good for my soul to be in Los Pinos for a bit.  To see the church building.  To hear the happy sounds of children playing. And, to feel God's love as it is being shared.