We took advantage of the weekend before my birthday to celebrate with a party at our place. It was attended by military couples and my girlfriends from Arpegio. I had a great time even though I had to go back and forth between two groups the entire time. People don't mix and mingle at parties like I am used to but it was all good. I really liked the fact that some of the choir girls made themselves right at home and started making drinks and picking away at the food on the table. It is custom at gatherings in Peru that you go around and serve food and drinks to everyone instead of them getting up and doing it themselves. I don't mind getting people their first drinks and offering to fill them up if they are low but I want people to feel like they can do things for themselves too. I am working at finding a good balance between being the overly attentive host like most people are here and relaxing and letting eat and drink at their pace. I find that with a various cultural differences I am figuring out what works best for me but also doesn't completely offend others. Everyone had drinks and there was karaoke so in the end I think everyone was satisfied. I was surprised with trick candles that Marco put on the cake. He was surprised as well and we ended up in a cloud of smoke. Good thing we didn't burn down the apartment. Our neighbors would not have been happy. It was really really awesome having so many people show up to the party. I wasn't expecting more than 15 or so but there ended up being around 30. It meant a lot to me that everyone came out to celebrate for a bit.
I had a wonderful day on my birthday. I had work at the school but my classes went really well and the rehearsal we had for 1st grade went pretty well too! I was greeted with a rendition of happy birthday by the woman who is the head of human resources at the school. It was a great way to start the day off. I didn't let me students know it was my birthday because I didn't really want them to have an excuse to ask to watch videos instead of practice for the show cultural.
When I got home I opened the apartment door and found rose petals leading to the table where Marco had spelled out Te Amo with more rose petals. There was a huge flower arrangement behind it and an adidas hat and shirt on the chair. What a sweetheart! It was super romantic and so thoughtful. I hope that never changes!
In the evening Marco took me out to a restaurant called KuoWha. It looks like a casino from the outside but it has a beautiful japanese garden on the inside and a delicious buffet dinner. I ate so much food. It was wonderful! There was this yummy dessert that was like a funnel cake ball with poppy seeds on the outside. I could have eaten 10 of them. I also loved the egg rolls. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is in Lima looking for asian food. It was delicious!
After eating we headed to a casino around the corner and gambled 10 soles. I won 10 soles on my third try and lost the rest of the original 10 so I ended up breaking even! It was fun but definitely not something I could imagine myself doing on a regular basis. It was my birthday though so why not?
Something fun about the name of this entry is that Peruvians call your birthday your santo. You might hear someone say "Cuando es tu santo? - When is your birthday?" and they refer to the birthday girl or guy as "la santa" o "el santo". That is because every day has a saint assigned to it and in the olden days people were named after the saint of whose date their birthday fell on. My saint is Saint Avelino so I could have been Avelina if I had been born in the 60s or before. My handy daily planner told me that because it has the name of the saint that corresponds to each date on each page.
|The two gringas at the party!|