Friday, December 11, 2009

The Big Chocolatada

Hot Chocolate and Paneton and craziness. The basics for a Christmas celebration in Peru. In other words: The Big Chocolatada

DHF and Afider held our last big event together for the year this afternoon, the 2009 Chocolatada. We invited more than 200 women to join us in celebrating the holiday season. Thankful only half of them came because otherwise there just wouldn't have been room in the office. We were scheduled to start at 3:30, which means 4:30 Peruvian time. At 3:30 we had only just begun to cut the Paneton (sweet fruit bread). We filled 3 big boxes with cut Paneton and served pipping hot cinnamon hot chocolate all afternoon. There was Christmas music, speeches reflecting on the year, little gifts for the kiddos and Santa hats.

For me it was surprisingly an enjoyable afternoon. I usually get stressed out during these big events: starting late, making women wait, is there enough crackers? But not this afternoon. I enjoyed the presence of the women present that have shaped my life these past two years. Women that have inspired and challenged me. And I gave them thanks and upon popular demand even sang Jingle Bells in English to show my gratitude. And, let me tell you even though I didn't remember the 2nd verse of Jingle Bells the women still gave me a standing ovation. Only in Peru.

Happy hot chocolate drinking and sweet bread eatin',

Paz ~ Nora

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