October 17, 2011
Lysandry's Quince (15th Birthday)
One of the special children who live here at Hogar Ganar had her 15th birthday last week, and she celebrated in grand style. We were privileged to be there for the event. As we've talked about before, the 15th is a very special birthday here, akin to a bar mitzvah in Jewish communities or even closer to high society's debutante balls. So kudos to Shaun and Sara, directors of Hogar Ganar, for being sure that the girls here who pass this milestone don't miss the opportunity to do something that is so culturally important to them.
This was so touching because a lot of people from the community came together to make this very special for Lysandry (affectionately known as Lisa). Folks pitched in with donations of their time and services, not to mention STUFF, and it made a nice party into a spectacular party. The house parents that care for her escorted her in, just as her biological parents would have done under different circumstances. Several pastors contributed to the gravity of the rite of passage by addressing the spiritual significance of her maturity. There were special songs, a gigantic cake, refreshments, music, photos, videos, cheers, prayers, gifts, and of course, the traditional waltz.
How special it was to see her house dad step up and proudly dance the father-daughter waltz with her, officially presenting her to her friends and family as a young lady. Then Lisa's little brothers took their turns, followed by a long line of young men who had lined up to have their pictures taken with the birthday girl (the quinceanera). We got a kick out of the "dances," which technically only lasted long enough for someone to snap a picture. Poor Lisa was spinning this way and that, with all the partners and flashes! Then the floor was opened and everyone was invited to waltz in celebration of the beautiful night. (It was one time I was thankful to be "handicapped!")
|Caroline waltzing with one of our neighbors|
|Camille with Lysandry (can you see that CAKE?!)|
|Camille steals a dance with Sammy|
|Caroline and Dana, who surprised everyone by singing for Lisa in Spanish!|