I turned 43 this past Monday. On Sunday after our morning home worship time with Jason, Kristin and Justin, we celebrated with an “imported” birthday cake. That’s Justin on the left and Dayton on the right and Jason over Dayton.
On Monday we thought maybe we’d go out to lunch at a favorite place but remembered that since my birthday is a national and religious holiday here (Day of the Dead…ironic isn’t it?!), that most places, including our favorite restaurant, were closed. Oh well…we had leftovers instead (ironic isn’t it?!). That’s OK…we’d already eaten at Applebee’s the week before and I had gone out with a fellow missionary too so…I think I was treated enough already!
One of my favorite cakes that we learned how to make from one of my sister-in-laws years ago was our special treat for the day. About half the ingredients aren’t available here so we brought them back with us from our recent home assignment.
It’s a yellow cake, with vanilla pudding, crushed pineapple (Beth used the juice in the cake batter) and topped with a layer of Cool-Whip (ok…Wal-Mart brand). The whipped non-dairy topping is itself topped with pecan halves and shredded coconut. It’s served cold from the fridge and is best after about 4 days to let the moisture permeate the cake. I think today is day four…and there’s maybe one more bite left!
Since I downloaded Kristin’s photos onto my computer so she could send some pictures to her family in the States, I figured I might as well share Justin’s Halloween pictures. I’m not sure where they found this costume but he makes a cute pumpkin. He didn’t want to wear the tights (he’s only 3 years old and conscientious about wearing tights?!?), but if you want candy you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
Believe it or not, Mexican culture has discovered “Trick or Treating.” I remember this being a highlight of the year as a kid…but I distinctly remember carrying a small brown paper bag. I see that in the spirit selflessness so as to make sure all the neighbors get some candy too, we’re now using 1 gallon buckets! LOL! Oh well…it matched the costume so that was the point I’m sure.
What’s really funny to us is that most kids here who do this don’t know how to say “Trick or Treat!” They say, “Queremos Al-o-wean” (phonetic pronunciation)…or “We want Halloween!” It’s worth giving out some candy to the neighbor kids just to hear them say that! We try hard to keep a straight face and not laugh too hard!
Of course, it isn’t so much that they’re embracing American culture but that it’s a great opportunity to get free candy from neighbors who feel obligated to give it out. Seriously…they come around two straight nights since October 31 is Halloween and November 1/2 is Day of the Dead. The kids make out like bandits! Man…I should have grown up down here!
If you’re wondering, Latin America usually puts the day of the month, then the month and then the year when posting the date. So, the above photos aren’t stamped January 11, 2009 as we would normally view that, but November 1, 2009. Just in case someone wonders why these photos appear to be dated so many months ago!