One of the first things that David told me when I arrived, was that it was his birthday the following Saturday, that he was having a party and that I (of course) was invited. He also said I should invite other students rom the school. I was quickly getting the impression that David really enjoys having students stay with him. He does so much to ensure they feel welcome and at ease. I can offer no other explanation for me receiving a birthday party invitation within an hour of my arrival. A Chilean birthday party? How cool!! And there would be live music, because he played in a band with some friends. I’ve included a couple of clips below of the band playing. I hope they come through. I’m not sure if WordPress can handle it! 🙂
Saturday was a busy day – with Easter Island planning, and party preparation and the party itself, the day pretty much got taken up. After we left the airline office, we went to the grocery store (in the same mall I had visited earlier that week) to get food for the party. David had asked if I would not mind helping with the salad.
Of course, if I’m going to be in charge of making the salad, it’s not going to be some sad salad with lettuce, tomatoes and onions, right? It’s going to have some pizzaz. As we walked around the produce section, I started making suggestions (red onions instead of white, mangoes, cilantro, avocado – of course!). I asked if we should make some guacamole as well. Two things I’ve noticed at parties thus far (unsurprising, perhaps) is that guacamole and cilantro almost always make an appearance. So I thought we should have both. His eyes lit up at the idea of guacamole. Awesome. Done.
Now I am officially in charge of some major items for the party, and I can’t remember the last time I actually made guacamole. Have I gotten myself in too deep?? Well, too late to back out now.
Madison is awesome. She falls in right next to me, willingly taking lead on the guacamole while I put together the salad. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with our handiwork. (Picture below) The guacamole was a huge hit. The salad was not as big of a hit, but I did get some very nice compliments from the people who ate it. The mango and cilantro made it.
Meanwhile, we’ve all been drinking since 3 – because really, what is party prep without alcoholic beverages? David’s friends are great – most speak English. Most were happy to begin a conversation in what Spanish I had, and then switch to English when I began to struggle. They have lived in the UK, US and Australia. So their English is very good.
There is another couple there (she is from Canada and he from Estonia). They are traveling the world, and David was helping them find a ship to take them from Vina to Easter Island on their way across the Pacific. They were both great fun to talk to. She is a yoga and meditation instructor, so we spent some time talking about spirituality, traveling the world, and yes, my vision quest. She is a fan, and urges me to keep traveling. So dangerous – so tempting!
The band starts up and plays a bunch of American music – lots of Journey in Chile, along with your standard Sweet Home Alabama and some others. So much fun.
Having been incorporated into the party planning and preparations, I felt less like an outsider invading someone’s birthday party I didn’t know and more like part of the group. Having made new friends, and having things to talk about with everyone, I felt like I was connecting with most people there. Wearing one of my new dresses, drinking some fantastic Carmenere, and dancing to American music in Chile – I was pretty much having a wonderful evening. Life simply does not get better than this.