Sunday, December 22, 2013

Did That Really Just Happen?

"Be there at 7 p.m. for the Christmas dinner," we were told.  So being the prompt missionaries that we are, we arrived at 7 p.m. to find a handful of people at the church.  Decorations were being put up, some of the food was brought in.  By 8:30 p.m. the building was filled to capacity with anxious people waiting for their dinner.  However, Dominican tradition is that they have their entertainment and dancing first, then the dinner last.  If I had known that, I would have eaten some saltine crackers or something:-)

So the entertainment began. . .

The Nativity in the Dominican Republic

Why, that picture looks just like thousands of pictures of the reenactment of the Nativity.  The event was quite reverent and the actors and actresses played their part with respect until Santa walked in.  The guitar began strumming with the keyboard accompanying the nativity to the tune of "Feliz Navidad!"  The angel, wise men, Mary, Joseph and shepherds began rocking out.  What just happened?  Everyone enjoyed the entertainment.

As missionaries, we were invited to four different Christmas dinners at the branch meetinghouses in La Vega. We learned very quickly what the traditional Christmas dinner is.  Although the presentation of the food varied, the menu was pretty much the same.  

Roasted pig, chicken, potato salad, green salad (shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes with oil and vinegar), rice with beans, and a pasta salad with tuna fish in it.  For dessert, they take an individual small styrofoam plate, pile it with an apple, grapes or raisins and two jelly candies, wrap it in plastic wrap and hand it out to each individual.  

Yes, that's a machete they use to carve the pig

                                                                                          A delicious dinner

In the Conani Branch, where we are assigned to attend on Sundays, I am the only one who "plays" the piano.  So of course, I was asked to accompany some groups while they sang their Christmas songs.  The Dominicans love, love, love to sing.  It is so refreshing to hear them sing their hearts out and they don't care if they are in tune.  Well, I'm not sure if they know if they are in tune or not.  

I had just finished accompanying a quartet who sang Angels We Have Heard on High.  The strains of gloria rang out and I was sitting at the keyboard in the front of the chapel, pondering the beauty of the season and the blessing of the birth of our Savior.  

The chairs and podium were moved aside and I sat directly in front of the brick with the keyboard in front of me.  Elder Fagersten was sitting close by.  Unbeknown to me, there was a 6 inch lizard crawling up the brick wall behind me.

The lizard looked around, and down below.  Oh, he thought, I see my target clearly below.  He took the plunge, will he reach his target?  Swoop, he landed on my head, then ran down my back!  I shuddered, let out a small squeek, pushed my chair back and looked for help to be saved from the man eating creature.

Did that really just happen?  Yes and I lost my appetite for the roasted pig. . .

No comments:

Post a Comment