I had my first Peruvian birthday party celebration last night. It was held at my host home with an attendance of around 25 people. Everyone was either from the language school, relatives of my host family, or from the local church that I attend here in Arequipa.
We started at 7:30pm but the majority of people did not come until 8:30 with some showing up as late as 10pm. My host mother made me a birthday cake with mango filling inside, it was delicious. The traditon, at least in my house, is that the birthday boy has to take a bite of the cake while his "friends" help him...
My host home father grilled hamburgers and we drank "Inca Cola" the popular soft drink here that is kind of like Mountain Dew. In addition to all the food, we even had some time to dance to Latin music. Normally I have two left feet but with a little coaching I saw doing alright, I even got to dance with my "Abuelita" (grandmother) the mother of my host mom.
I received a few gifts including a CD with music by Mana (a group from Latin America) and a soccer jersey of my favorite team from the English Permier league: Liverpool.
I finally was able to get to bed around 12pm and drifted off to sleep very content and happy. Even though I am thousands of miles away from my family and friends in the USA, I am so very thankful that the Lord had provided me with a wonderful host family and many new friends in Peru.