Thursday, December 22, 2011

Middle School Graduation (Promociones)

Graduation season is upon us, and they do it to the hilt here, with Kindergarten, Middle School, and High School graduation parties being the big ones. The Kindergarten party is today (I´m missing it since I needed to go to Caraz and type some reports), the High School party is after Christmas, and the Middle School party was last Sunday.

I went to the Middle School party, mainly because my host-aunt asked me to be the padrino (god father) for her daughter. I´ve learned to shy away from any padrino duties, usually because it involves sponsoring the kid, paying for her dress, and my first padrino experience was a little embarrassing (see ¨Viva the Queen¨ October blogpost), however, my host-aunt assured me that all I just had to walk Jacky into the party, dance with her, and be in a few photos. Simple, I could that.

The location was a restaurant outside of town. There was a band from Hauraz, great food (pachamanca or roasted meat), lots of people (most of them drank excessively), and la hora loca (crazy hour... where there are balloons and everyone dances).

Fortunately, I don´t have any remarkable stories to tell about this experience, other than it was a lot of fun and really boosted my street cred (or as the Peace Corps says ¨Ability to integrate into the host community¨). However, I should note that I observed a significant amount of social pressure for me (and others) to drink.    I don´t drink in site, and this is now pretty well known in the community, but they still tried to turn the screws on me to drink. Oh peer pressure, thank you DARE for teaching me it´s evils. 

Here are a few pictures from the event:

The teacher (in red) dancing with her students during the hora loca.

A few of the graduates. My host-cousin (Jacky) is on the right.

The 10 graduates receiving their commencement speech. 

Jacky bidding farewell to all (until next year).

Jacky receiving her medallion 

Jacky and her Padrino cutting a rug. 

My host family. Dina is on the left in the front. 

Jacky and her parents.