Our move to the outskirts of D.C. has been awesome. We’re still climbing out of our financial hole [long story] and struggling, but we are in an area that I love. My family is living in a multi-cultural area and my children are being raised in cultures within the American culture. Our neighborhood is composed of Korean, Ethiopian, and a high population of El Salvadoran and Peruvian people.
Language barrier– What language barrier?
Each morning I see the same families dropping their kids off at school, and in turn, have met several of the parents, even though we do not speak the same language. Sometimes the language barrier is difficult, but as parents, we all have the same goals– to see our children do better than we did, and to have more than we had. It’s not only the American dream; it’s a parental dream. This intertwines all of us no matter the spoken language.
During this year, we have enjoyed being part of the cultures around us, and last night we attended a baby shower of an El Salvadoran friend. Hector explained that he was having a big party– a baby shower– for his daughter and invited our whole family to come. I wasn’t sure what to expect since Hector’s family speaks very little English, and we don’t speak Spanish. Once arriving, the language barrier made no difference.
Time to celebrate
This baby shower was more than a baby shower. It was a full-blown, baby shower party, just as Hector said it would be. The furniture was removed from the living room and chairs were lined up along the walls. A DJ table was set up with streamers and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. There was dancing and laughter and kids running around. The women were dressed to the nines and looked like they were about to hit the discotheque.
Oh, glorious food!
The music was blaring, but the din of the kitchen is what appealed to me. There were six or seven women standing in a kitchen meant for two, cooking and laughing loudly, serving food in portions meant for three. Just watching and being around them was comforting, and made me feel like I was home with my family.
The smells wafting between the kitchen and the grill were a foodie’s dream. There was everything from braised beef and rice with homemade tortillas, pico de gallo, salads, radishes, cucumbers and a purple type of potato salad (I think). I’d never seen or had it before. The grill was loaded with carne asada and chorizo. Three plates later, I was on the verge of bursting.
And the party continued…
Between dancing and eating; men, women and kids joined the laughter of silly baby shower games. Even with the language barrier it was a warm, fun and inviting experience, and a far cry from the stiff baby showers I have attended. We stayed at the party for nearly three hours, but that didn’t mean the party was ending. Each group of people who left were met up with a group of people just arriving.
I wish I had a photo of the party, but I left my camera at home so I wouldn’t look like a complete and utter tourist.