ryan has a church calling, which is like his job in the church. the way the mormons run things is purely by volunteering. this means that we get no money and we often put a lot of time and effort into our job. ryan's job is to deal with the teenage boys in the spanish branch, which is like a miniature congregation of (you guessed it!) spanish speakers.
let me tell you a little secret: the spanish branch throws parties the way no mormon congregation has ever thrown a party. and they have a party for every holiday. they go on for hours and everyone is so relaxed and happy, the food--the food! is tremendous. i don't speak any spanish and understand very little, but i enjoy these parties very much.
i am a lot behind to be writing about this now, but several weeks ago we went to the father's day party at the park. there was, of course, a pinata. the children knew what this was as soon as the adults started to get it tied up in the tree and gathered around with grocery sacks and baseball hats, watching closely for any candy that might sneak out. since it was fathers day the fathers got to hit the pinata. this meant that a grown man would be blindfolded and handed a bat, then everyone around him would shout, telling him to swing higher or lower. meanwhile, all the children are closely clustered around, watching carefully for any falling candy. it sounded a bit like this:
"Higher! Higher! Lower! Higher! STOP! STOP! STOP! THE CHILDREN!! STOP!!! Higher! Lower! You almost got it! Lower! STOP! STOP! STOP!!! THE-CHILDREN-THE-CHILDREN!!! STOP!!"
Meanwhile, those of us without children about to be served concussions along with a piece of bubblegum, laughed hysterically. and then someone did get whacked and he stood there, rubbing the back of his head with one hand and holding a limp grocery sack in his other, crying loudly. the hitter ripped the bandanna off his eyes and apologized profusely, bending over him to make sure all was well. the parents of the hitted also stood over their son, but instead of concern, they scolded him.
"Why were you standing so close?" they asked. "Didn't you see him swinging that baseball bat?"
"this is the difference between mexico and america," my friend told me, "in mexico we blindfold an adult and hand him a bat and let him swing it around the children. if he hits one of the children, we scold the child. if someone hits your child in america, even if your child is at fault, the parents get mad at the adult."
he has a point.
she is obviously a fan of party hats.
so is he.
a second pinata followed the first. this one was for the children. they lined up youngest to oldest. ava got to go first. she was a very careless and uncommitted pinata-er. this was taken in the beginning of her pinata hitting stunt and i think she's staring at all of the excited mexicans who are cheering her on in spanish. finally someone yelled, "in english! she can't understand!" and they all began yelling in english. this did not enhance her level of commitment.