Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Here, Birthdays Begin at 2:45 a.m.

2:45 a.m. That's when I thought the house had caught on fire.

After hearing an exlosion outside my window at 2:45 this morning, I jumped out of bed. I pulled open the curtains, saw a wall of smoke, and officially freaked out.

And then I heard lots of little girl voices. And then I remembered.

Birthday traditions at NPH Guatemala.

At a quarter to 3 in the morning, my entire section of little pre-teen girls had gotten out of bed, wrapped themselves in blankets, and walked down to my house in the dark. They set off fireworks underneath my window (which is approximately 6 inches from the head of my bed -- no wonder I shot out of bed at the first sound of exploding), and then they sang me Las Mañanitas, a traditional early morning serenade used to wake loved ones.

As they sang, I watched them through the window, worked on catching my breath and regaining a normal heart rhythm, and couldn't stop smiling and cracking up the entire time. When the song ended, I met them on our front porch and received hugs and "Feliz cumpleaños" from 20 sleepy kiddos and all their tías. And then it was back to bed for everyone.

Love them. Birthday número 24 is definitely off to a good start. :)

The scene of the crime.
Not sure who came up with this tradition, but I kind of love it.

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