Hi! I have been having a very exciting time since I last wrote! We went Lucha Libre which is the mexican masked wrestling. It was very funny and entertaining. The wrestlers wear these outrageous costumes and try and but on a really good show with lots of tricks and theater built in. The show was also getting filmed for TV for later in the week. SO once again I was on TV here in Mexico haha. We had a blast cheering and getting into it, and I had a blast mortifying my aunt on TV who didnt want to be seen there haha : ). We were also able to make it to a cuban salsa club called Mama Rumba. Me and my posie (my brother and tutor and his friends) went to meet my uncle and dad who were already there ealier. It had a live cuban band with about 10 members, and the dancing was absolutly phenomenol. We are talking striaght out of a dance movie. They were doing the partner dancing in a circle where they would switch partners and at one point I saw all the girls were up on the guys arms, it was crazy. And then there were all the different individual partners that had the best moves and tricks ive ever seen. It was fun just to watch in awe. We were joking that we were for sure- by far- the table of the worst dancers. We know the basics of salsa, but not much more, so it was kind of intimidating even getting on the dance floor, but all the group that I came with danced at least one song with me, even my uncle (who is quite a good dancer) except for my dad (party pooper :)
The next exciting thing we did was go to the Villa for Las Manaitas for the las virgin de guadelupe. December 12th is a very important holiday for Mexico becasue its when they celebrate the virgin marys birthday. If you are not familiar with the story of Juan Diego, look it up, but for a very simplified version, he was a poor mexican peasant who the virgin of guadelupe appeared to in 1531 to ask him to built a church. In order for other people to believe him, she made her image appear on his tilma (peasant cloak) That tilma is now hung up in a cathedral in Mexico City, called La Villa. In a defiance of science it has never deteriorated. People come from all over Mexico year around to pray to here her, usually making the journey by foot and you can often see people that make there way up to her on their knees. So the evening before Las Mananitas (her birthday) people begin to come to La Villa from all over, carrying their babies, carry pictures of the la virgin, huge statues, all sort of things to be blessed there on her birthday. Some people come and pay their respects and then leave, but many people who arent close enough to go home sleep there on the ground that night. So me and my dad had planned to go to this, but some of our relatives told us we were crazy and that we wouldnt even be able to get within miles of her etc. But we decided to check it out anyway. So we took the subway. They said there were about 5 million people there that night. It was incredible! The energy of the place and the crowd was really powerful. these millions of people gathered their in peace and in devotion. And anyone who knows me knows I´m not exactly a fan of the catholic church as an organization, but I felt nothing but respect for what was going on that night. There were many people already set up for sleeping by the time we got there around 10 pm, sleeping on the stone grounds around the church with just blankets. We saw one huge statue of la virgin that was brought to be blessed that was about 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide and had to be carried by about 10 men. It was really beautiful. My dad made the comment that we were their with the real ´people of mexico´ we didnt see any tuorists. And it was the kind of thing that most middle and upper class people dont go to, because they could stay at home and watch it on TV. At 11:30 everyone sings las mananitas to here (the birthday song) and then a bunch of famous people sing to her. I´m so glad that we didnt get talked out of going!
My dad is gone now and the relatives here are starting to be done with work for the holidays. They say there is parties every day this time of year. I think that is especailly true since my aunt and uncles birthdays are also this week. We celebrated my aunt bday last night at an iIatian restaurant. I am looking forward to the rest of the holidays : )
Here is a link to the most recent pictures http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2658545&id=8609614&l=37a06f47ef
Until next time