It was Jorlenis' first birthday party. The quintessential Panamanian Cupliaños. We were the official photographers for the event. So we'll show give you a play by play.
The things you need for a birthday party are a cake and a piñata. And of course, a really cute Birthday Girl. The Birthday Girl gets the first swing at the Piñata. The Piñata was as big as she is.
The piñatas are full of more than just candy, also confetti and flour. Once the piñata has been broken open there is a mad scramble by the kids and teenages, and some of the adults. I don't envy their mothers and wives who have to hand wash that flour out of their clothes. After the piñata a dinner of arroz con pollo (chicken fried rice) is served with a potato salad that is bright pink because they boil beets in with the potatos and dice them into the salad.
During the whole day the grandfather shared out beers, so the male population was less than sober. Women don't drink in the country, at least not in our village. Men from all over came to partake in the free beers. They don't participate other than to down beers as fast as they can.
Jeff was accosted by one of these guys. The drunk guy said to Jeff, ¨You have learned a lot about Panama, but I haven't learned anything about your culture.¨ Never mind Jeff had never seen this guy before. So Jeff said, ¨At a party for a one-year old in the United States, I wouldn't drink a lot of beer.¨ The guy told Jeff that he hadn't learned anything about Panama and some incoherent ranting. I saw this from across the room. I was a little worried the guy might take a swing at Jeff, but Jeff walked away he sat down and asked for another beer.
While the men work on getting drunk the kids play games on the other side of the porch. Here's Jesus with his cousin. That's fake money by the way.