Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cow entrails soup and yet another birthday party

July 24th, 2009 – Cow entrails soup and yet another birthday party


Thursday, July 23rd, I came home to a special surprise. I had walked in and heard some loud noises outside my window. I went out to see what it was, and it was my father and his friend unloading the remains of a cow on a table in our carport...in this case I guess cowport. Haha. It’s been a while since my last incredibly witty and funny pun.

They told me they were going to prepare a special treat for the soccer players to give them energy for the upcoming game. What they do is cut up and cook all the entrails of the cow, and make a big soup out of it. I think they grill the head and sit it on the table, give everyone a fork and a knife, and everyone digs in. You have to be fast to get the best parts, which I’m told are the tongue and the brain. As they were telling me this I’m looking at a pile of cow organs and a big meaty cow head. Haha. The head still had the horns, eyeballs, and some hair on it. I had to get a picture for your enjoyment.

I snapped a picture after the head was prepared a bit, and as they were cleaning and cooking the meal.

It was Jacqueline’s, my niece’s, birthday. She’s only 13 years old, as of this birthday. She’s kind of shy and you can tell she doesn’t have a lot of self-esteem, and probably doesn’t receive a lot of favorable attention from her parents. At lunch that afternoon, I walked over to her house to wish her Happy Birthday. She was still lying in bed watching TV. That’s awesome because she probably never gets to do that, but it was her birthday so if she wanted to lie in bed half the day and watch TV, then that’s exactly what she should have done. Anyway, I asked her what she was going to do for her Birthday, to which she had no response. I told her I hoped she had a great birthday and to do whatever she wanted, hung out with her a bit, and then gave her a big birthday hug. After lunch she told me her parents said they were going to have an Asado, a BBQ, for her birthday.

When I came home from school, she had invited a few of her friends over to attend her Birthday BBQ, and they were running around playing. The hours passed and it soon became evident that there would be no BBQ. Her Mom came home announcing there was no cake to be found in town, and her Dad said it was too late to start a BBQ. She ran to her Mom’s bed and began to cry. It broke my heart. Here it was her 13th birthday, she had invited friends over, and her parents didn’t come through. I felt so bad for her, and could understand exactly why she was crying. It was like she wasn’t important enough. What makes it worse is that she had just seen the fairly large party we had for Mike and the big extravaganza we had for Angelic. Her family had thrown big parties for her sister’s last 2 birthdays including her 15th, which is huge here. I mean it’s so big that people go in debt for it. She had been anticipating her birthday, and probably imagined a party, and the day comes, she gets a promise for a party, invites some friends, and nothing happens. Can you imagine the humility, and the feeling of rejection? It broke my heart.

Her parents promised her they would do it the next day. It’s not the same, but at least it’s something.

So the next day we had a small party. Her parents are very humble from a financial perspective and not nearly as organized and motivated so the party was kind of thrown together and simple, so I still felt bad. The party started out just as just a few girls and their Moms’/relatives and I sitting around a TV listening and watching a music DVD.

Regardless there were balloons, music and dancing, cake, and friends....all the important ingredients for a good birthday party. Later the men quit working and joined the party. About that time, we started eating and then drinking.

It was freezing...literally. To let you know how cold it was, I had already gone home for like 20 minutes to put my feet in front of a heater, to warm them up because they were so cold. I tell you how cold it was so you’ll fully appreciate how funny it is that these two Paraguayans, my brother and Carlos’ brother, took their shirts off and danced together in 32-degree weather.

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