Hello Family and Friends!
The holiday season is officially over, but I hope that the feelings of happiness and joy continue throughout the year!! Here in Honduras, there was quite a bit going on. There are many traditions here that are very similiar, if not the same, as the U.S. However, there were many traditions that are different from our Holiday Season traditions. Furthermore, of course, I introduced my family to some of our traditions. So, this Christmas was definitely a Honduran-American Christmas and New Year´s!! lol. We did all kinds of things from decorating with lights, Christmas Trees and reindeer, making decorations with the children, the CD with 100 songs, a lot in English…it was very nostalgic with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Frosty the Snowman, etc., watching holiday movies, drinking hot chocolate, eating peppermint sticks, and more! It was quite beautiful despite the lack of christmas lights in every house as is normal in the U.S. However, The Little girls and I watched The Polar Express and some holiday movies of Winnie the Pooh, Nora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse. It was quite interesting. Also, they got to try hot chocolate and peppermint sticks (the BEST) for the first time thanks to my mom.
However, there was of course an interchanging of culture, so I learned quite a bit also about some of their traditions during Chrsitmas. During the month of December, they charole in the church every week. They used to go around the town and visit people´s houses, but people stopped responding so they ended that. That was a little sad, because I wanted to charole and visit people´s houses, but anyways. Also, the Catholic Church makes a nativity scene in the front of the church (my host dad made it). I have a picture below. By the way, you can´t see it, but I found a dinosaur in the nativity scene! Lol. It must have been a Little kid or a joke, I´m not sure, but I´m pretty sure their were no dinosaurs in the manger. But, it was beautiful.
So, on Dec. 23, we made tamales and I got to help! It´s quite a process with the preparing the corn,the stuffings, the leaves of the banana tree,etc. I actually also helped cute down the banana trees that I later ¨cooked¨or dried on the stovetop to wrap the tamales in.
On Dec. 24, we played Amigos Secretos which is Secret Santa for us in the states. It was quite fun...I ended up giving a little girl a skirt and shirt and I got a sweater...no pics of the sweater, but oh well. It was a fun time with the fam.
On Dec. 25, I went to the bull ridings in Lamani, Comoyagua with a counterpart and the family. It was very interesting and fun!! One time, there was a drunk guy from the crown that got into the pin...lol!
On De. 31, we celebrated the New Year with food (stuffed chicken) and a doll that I helped make with my host dad. The doll represents the old year because it´s made with old clothing and you burn it at 12a.m. to represent leaving all the old things behind and moving into a NEW YEAR!!
I hope everyone´s year was great and that all the end of the year celebrations were awesome as well!! I will post more pictures later.
Also, a side note, I did a lot of preparing for this new year...my room is painted a different color, I moved my things around in my room, I cleaned my shoes, washed all my clothes, painted my nails, and swept my room (a lot of work). Here are some pics to enjoy:
Update-Jan. 6-This is the day that they celebrate the three Kings coming to visit Jesus in the stable. So, it´s tradition for someone in the community to steal the baby Jesus from the Catholic Church Nativity Scene and then on the night of Jan. 6, the town goes around house to house and asks if the baby Jesus is here and they sing and the little kids really participate! It´s really cute. And then, when it gets later in the night, the house that has the baby Jesus shoots up a firework and all the kids go running towards that direction and there is the baby and then their a service to remember the biblical importance of the event and then there´s food afterward. Very interesting!