A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

June 18, 2008 — Yesterday I  had the opportunity to go to a baby shower for a young Mexican woman I know. The printed invitations requested punctuality, so I turned up at 4:15 for a 4 PM event and was still the first guest to arrive. The pregnant woman wasn’t there yet, as it was a surprise for her, though when she and her husband arrived, she didn’t seem astonished. Maybe a hint had leaked out.

I wonder if all Mexican baby showers are so much fun… I think that the sister-in-law who organized this one has quite a talent for it. Maybe some of the things we did are commonly done; I have no idea!

When we arrived, a name tag sort of thing was pinned on our clothing and it was explained that if you saw someone crossing her arms or legs, you could take the tag off and pin it on yourself. There would be a prize at the end for whoever had the most. I was pretty diligent but habits are habits, and soon I lost my tag. A few minutes later, one of the young Mexican women caught my eye and significantly nodded toward the woman sitting on the other side of me. Sure enough, her arms were crossed, so I gained a tag back — only to lose it an hour later in an unguarded moment. Two women were very good at spotting people and soon were festooned with tags all over their blouses.

Before the mother-to-be arrived, some 20 or 25 other women did (along with a bunch of babies and small children), and we were issued blown-up balloons and instructed to put them under our clothing to simulate pregnancy. We wore these for the entire party, in solidarity I suppose. The party was outside under a large canopy, at the home of the grandparents-to-be. A few drops of rain didn’t bother anyone, and all the brightly wrapped gifts were on a table set up safely away from rain. 

Once the guest of honor arrived and had been greeted warmly, we played another game. I was chosen to be one of three women sitting in chairs, in a row. Three other women were blindfolded, brought over, and handed unopened jars of baby food and spoons. Getting the drift, I said to the blindfolded woman standing in front of me, "Eres tu mi mama?" That gave her a chance to hone in on where I, her baby, was. At a signal, they opened their jars and started feeding their "babies." She and I won that game hands down. She could sure spoon it out of the jar fast and skillfully. Only a little went up my nose or onto my blouse, and I gobbled up the rest fast. If I had been the mother, no way would we have won! We each got a kitchen spoon as prize.

After a rousing game of musical chairs won by another gringa to her surprise, rolls of toilet paper made their way around the tables. We were each to take the length that we guessed would go around the pregnant belly of the mother-to-be. Almost all of us guessed too long, but two women tied for the prize of some plastic glasses, so it was divided between them.

There were more games, all of this accompanied by lots of jolly conversation and laughter. I really enjoyed being there, being included. I knew few of the women, but it didn’t matter. I joked and chatted with the ones near me, but when a group of Mexican women get into rapid, joking repartee, I only understand a word now and then! I had the chance to chat quite a lot with a sweet young woman with a baby and a four-year-old, as she was the second guest to arrive. Her husband is working in Canada, on a program organized in Chapala, and she is hoping to join him with the children.

showerpartyfavorThere had been snacks on the table all along, and then food was brought out — plates of tortillas with pasta and sausage in a mayonnaise sauce piled on them. I had a little, and as it was approaching 7 PM by now, I decided to get out before the presents began being opened, which seemed likely to be a lengthy affair, as it was to involve guessing what the things were… we had already provided written clues. There was also something on the wall that looked liked a version of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" was in the works. So I said my goodbyes and thanks, removed the balloon from under my blouse, and was given the little memento you see.

As I walked home, I thought about all the different women who had gathered together. Young, middle-aged, and beyond. Slender, medium, and large. Quiet and lively. Mexican and American. Mothers and not. There’s a saying here, "Cada cabeza un mundo," or "Every head a world." I had really felt that, and also the sense of connection that was palpable at times, from the fact of being women together, celebrating a woman’s event.

6 Comments from the old blog:

  • At June 19, 2008 12:21 AM,  Steve Cotton said…

    I have been asked to give the sermon at church this Sunday. The topic is Celebration. As I have prepared the lesson, I realize just how much we Americans have lost the fun of getting together and celebrating one another. Even holidays have a tendency to be about stuff rather than about one another. I may work in this very nice story about spontaneity and fun. Thank you for sharing it.

  • At June 19, 2008 6:50 AM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Steve, you’ve nailed one of the main things I like about living in Mexico… the enjoyment of life and of each other. What a great topic for a sermon.
    An American I know in the Lake Chapala area commented to me that the name-tag and the waist-measuring games had been played at a baby shower she went to.

  • At June 24, 2008 9:15 PM,  wayne said…

    You know you have accomplished your goal and found your new home when you get invited to a Mexican’s home for a celebration. Only a few ever get that far. Congrats.

  • At July 06, 2008 8:29 PM,  Gin said…

    I have been to many Mexican parties of all sorts and never have I seen the gifts opened while the attendees are there. Too bad you left early I would be curious to know if they opened the gifts for all to see. I have asked Mexican lady friends why they don’t open the gifts and they seem mystified as to why they would be opened during the party. They really had no answer.

  • At July 06, 2008 8:47 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Gin, that is very interesting. I will see what I can find out, sooner or later.

  • At July 25, 2008 12:20 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    I asked a Mexican friend about gifts being opened at parties, and she said no, they aren’t… with one exception, kids at Christmas!

4 Responses to “At a Mexican Baby Shower”

  • Traciy says:

    We would love to know more about this. There is a group of American women who are married to Mexican men that need ideas on how to blend these two cultures together for the baby shower.

    American and Hispanic Latino Couples on Facebook

  • Rosana says:

    After I wrote this post, I was told by friends that the games I mention are very common at baby showers. I suggest good ol' google for more info! There have got to be other bloggers who have written about this.

  • Unknown says:

    my friend's sister is mexican and she had a baby shower..she opened her gifts..at her pary.

  • Rosana says:

    Just goes to show, there is variety in how people do anything! Thanks for commenting.

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