Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happily caught in the rain.

We spend the day yesterday in Ferria de Tula, a small village nearby. Oswaldo’s family friends that live there have been caring for the sheep that are going to be the main course at tomorrows wedding reception. Their lovely seven year old daughter Lluvia and several of her friends tagged along with us as we walked through the town. Apparently the phrase ‘uno, dos, tres, queso’ when taking a photo is not in common practice here, so I had the kids in stitches.

As it happens every day around 2pm, it started to rain, but this daily rain was a bit heavier than we expected. As we took shelter in the gazebo opposite the church, the rain picked up and turned into hail. The temperature dropped and we could see our breath. In the deluge we kept warm by huddling together in a big group hug. It was a great experience- old and very new friends all cuddled into a big mass, with Gleb, the biggest man among us, bearing the wind at his back.

When the sky cleared, Lluvia and I wandered off up to the church, which also was the local school. During the revolution it was partly destroyed, but the damaged facade by the entrance didn’t prevent it from being used and cared for. Inside the main hall and the school off to the side were colorful and well cared for. Lluvia gave me a wonderful tour, pointing out all of her favorite things. I didn’t understand most of it. Occasionally she would ask me a question, but after my apology she would continue on, leading me by hand up another staircase or into yet another room.

The group of us here for the wedding is growing by the hour as people continue to arrive. Some old friends and I set out this afternoon to see a waterfall nearby, but the road was nearly impassable by heavy rain. We somehow got off course and the rocky road ended at a junkyard. The rain continued to fall so we turned around, feeling satiated by seeing enough flowing water on the road, and went and had lunch.

Currently I’m sitting here as Karen’s old friend Shannon is practicing the hymns she’ll be performing at the wedding. Gleb, her friend from her days in Russia who is a wildlife photographer, will be ‘shooting’ the wedding. Oswaldo’s sisters and family friends are cooking the food and the wedding cake. I’m impressed by the level of personal engagement of everyone involved in this wedding, and am really looking forward to seeing it unfold over the next day and a half.

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