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07 August, 2011

Fiesta! Musica! Cerveza! Risa!

For those of you new here, I recently moved from a full-time position at a Catholic Church to a part-time one.  I also work part-time for a friend's lawn maintenance company.  I do his bills, payroll, keep him organized, and any other odd jobs that he throws my way....

Like hosting a summer cook out for the six guys on our lawn crews.  I made the invitations in Spanish, thanks to Profesora Google (we all know Google is a female because she knows everything...haha), and a quick proof read by Chris, my boss.

We planned a tasty menu that was American in nature but would not be weird flavors to our Mexican guests.  Chris bought an assortment of tequila and beer, made some guacamole and some peach salsa. We were ready to fiesta.

Party night came and I was really nervous. Nervous because I can barely speak enough Spanish to find a bathroom in a foreign country.  Nervous because I didn't know if any of the guys would bring their wives or girl friends.  Nervous because I was afraid they'd talk about me and I wouldn't know it!

Fortunately, my have-no-fear husband, who speaks enough Spanish to get either a weird look or a laugh, came with me.

We walked in the door an hour late.  To my surprise we were the second couple there.  They were sitting quietly in the dining room while Chris was outside getting the grill started.

Eric introduced himself in Spanish and then introduced me.  As I was squeezing between the dining room chairs and kitchen counter with my baby belly to make my way to Chris and the grill on the patio, I got a little wedged in... whoops.  At that point, the other couple laughed.  I pointed to my belly and said "silly baby".

And the wife piped up, in perfect English, "When are you due?"

And then we all laughed!

After I greeted Chris I sat down with the couple, and we talked for a bit.  The wife translated to the husband parts of the conversation.  She admitted to me that she was really nervous about the party because she had never been to an American's house for dinner and didn't know what to expect.  I told her that I was equally nervous about going to a party where everyone spoke Spanish but me!  We became instant buddies.

The rest of the crew finally arrived and Eric offered them mas cerveza.  Dinner was served.  When the guys addressed the whole table for conversation, they spoke slow enough for Eric and Chris to understand.  I have learned to pick up enough words that I can at least get the topic of conversation, so I didn't feel entirely left out.

We made jokes about Chris mixing up the words for "Shrimp" (camarón), which we had for dinner, and "Fag" (maricón).  The guys thought this was a riot and we laughed about it throughout the night.

We retired to the basement to hang out.  The guys introduced us to their favorite band, Mana, to which we watched two dozen of his music videos on YouTube (projected on the TV).  

Eric taught them how to play ping-pong, which was great because I then could play and hang out without really needing to verbally speak.  The games got a little ridiculous and we laughed and laughed.

It's amazing what can be communicated with a few words of English, a few words of Spanish, and a lot of laughter.

Our night ended with the guys showing us their homes in Mexico via Google Earth and telling us about their families at home.

(without diving into a huge political debate I will say....) Working with a crew of Mexican immigrants the last 5 months has really shown me a personal side of the immigration laws some of the states are imposing. It has been my experience that the guys on our crew are working hard to support their families, and they are so gracious to have generous employers.


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