Monday, May 28, 2007

Cake Overload

The damage
Originally uploaded by Elizabeth in Bolivia.
After having 3 surprise parties, and eating cake 8 or 9 times since Friday, I´m 23! I feel like I should be older... maybe it´s because of all these incredible experiences I´m having, mixed with the response from the Nuns at Missionaries of Charity and staff at La Casa who often remark, ¨oh, you are so young!¨

Surprise *1: An eventful day at La Casa for 100 of our friends from the streets. We showed a slideshow, had a cake eating contest, and gave away candy roses tied to verses and warm, fuzzy blankets. After the party, I was distracted downstairs while the rest of the staff congregated upstairs to surprise me with singing and a cake. It´s Bolivian tradition to chant ¨mate a la torta¨ which literally means ¨kill the cake!¨ I had to take a bite out of the cake, in which Humberto snuck up behind me and gave my head a shove, which made a beautiful dent in the cake (see picture).

Surprise *2:
My B-family surprised me by inviting all the Gringas over for dinner. We ate mashed potatoes, ¨hamburgers,¨ and tomato slices, all arranged in a smiley face, to which I observed, ¨hey, the face is white like mine!¨ Unfortunately, the Gringas didn´t get the memo that my B-family was serving dinner, so they had already eaten, not to mention, it is incredibly rude not to finish your plate. ugh. Poor girls... Then we ate more cake followed by jello. I found out later that my family waited until I had gone to bed Thursday night to start the cake, which meant they were up until at least midnight - all to surprise me. Their generosity still keeps me speechless. (I´m still the first one to be served dinner.)

Surprise *3:
The Gringo staff gathered for community dinner last night. We were supposed to show up at 6:30, but when I got there, they were all waiting for me with the lights off and posters on the wall that read ¨Happy Birthday - eat more cake!¨

Needless to say, I have eaten too much cake. And, Bolivian cake just isn´t tasty - like cardboard topped with whipped cream, but it always manages to look pretty.

I feel lively. I feel loved. I feel full of laughter.
Thank you!

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