Friday, December 31, 2004



In the interests of chronology, I thought I'd post some overdue Christmas pictures before launching into New Year's pictures. I'll make this short since I'm about to go out, but for Christmas Márcia invited me out to her mother's compound where a sprawling family group of maybe 50 was celebrating. Everyone was a "cousin" or a "niece" and I soon lost track.

Christmas was pretty awesome. There was a big barbeque and dogs and chickens running everywhere. Márcia planning and executed a wide variety of children's games, to the delight of all. It's pretty clear that she's all the kids' favorite aunt/cousin/etc. I've tried to post a video of one of the games in which each kid had a balloon tied to his or her ankle, and had to stomp the other kids' balloons without getting stomped. It was real fun, but I don't think I posted it right. Will try again later. After that we all drank beer and soda and danced arroxa, which is a sort of sexual popular dance here. At everyone's urging, I danced with a bunch of Márcia's 18-year-old nieces.

Also, and this post is quickly turning into an homage to Márcia, I don't think I've ever met somebody who embodies the "spirit of Christmas" quite like she does. After staying up making gift bags for the myriad kids who were coming to the party, we made a whole nother batch to give to children in the street because "they see the kids who get gifts and they have nothing, so it makes a big difference if you give them something." She worked really hard for Christmas, both for her own family and for strangers. It was good to see.

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