The lists for Santa were identical for both and not quite the same as the lists Santa had from Dany and Alberto some 15 years or so ago, which were: one t-shirt, one pair of tennis shoes, one pencil and Albert wanted peanut butter. These lists were long, brand orientated and expensive: iPad (Aipa), iPhone, tablet, laptop, Jordan and Nike tennis shoes, 5 t-shirts, 5 pairs of trousers, radio controlled car, plane, helicopter, loads of baseball gear, roller skates, bicycle and buoquitoki (walkie talkie) etc etc. Santa nearly had a heart attack. Luckily I had been busy in the month so we could just manage one thing each – a tablet - made in China.
Albert went to Esperanza to stay with Chivirico for the few days before Christmas giving Danilo a chance to wrap presents.
Danilo had done all of the shopping, including for himself, so I had no idea what I was supposedly giving him! It turned out to be a sweatshirt and he had toothpaste from the dogs and soap from the cats. he brought me two pairs of knickers - one with a Wifi symbol on the front and another with a start button. .I think they would go down a treat in Marks and Spencer (famous British clothing shop with good quality). Given the kids are out of work, he bought presents for everyone to give everyone - I even had a pack of cotton buds from Saya!
The kids arrived along with Alberto and Dany, Ana and grandbaby and Saya the dwendy and some strange man. We always seem to have strange men here for Christmas lunch. Having opened presents, the kids found a note in the bottom of their stockings (which were full of things like deodorant, soap, an apple, socks) which sent them off on a treasure hunt to find Santa’s gifts.
The Santa sacks were hidden inside a pile of blocks being used to build the wall. Joy all around when they discovered their tablets.
This was followed by British Christmas turkey lunch – well apart from sprouts and parsnips and cranberry sauce and stuffing and Christmas pudding. Replaced by rice and peas, Russian salad and ordinary salad.
While I was cooking lunch, and Ana making the rice and peas, the men were doing what men do best - nothing.
Then, just before lunch the boys all went out to check on Danilo’s latest money making venture – honey making. He had a little swarm of bees living in a cat carrier (no idea how) and had built a beehive out of the wardrobe door.
Beeman had been and transferred bees including the Queen to the beehive - please note this involves using yet another of my kitchen knives.
The menfolk went to check the bees while yours truly cooked lunch. Disaster, the bees had gone on holiday. Beeman was called (yes it was Christmas day) and collected in the car, along with his six kids. He announced the queen had left and there were no more bees. End of money making project. Danilo invited him and his kids for lunch (while I silently panicked) but when Danilo said it was English food, they made their apologies and left (phew!).
Chivirico stayed for the whole of the holidays and the three kids – Albert, Chiv and Danilo (the big kid), played together all day long. Danilo asked if they wanted to play pico gallo (pico means a beak and gallo is a cockerel or rooster). They excitedly said yes and rushed outside to see how to play. Danilo demonstrated putting a 6 inch long bread roll in his crotch with a bit sticking out and the roosters fly up and peck it. Peck the pecker. I was laughing too much to take photos and the kids refused to play, even for 100 pesos. But the money went up and eventually Danilo offered 1000 pesos to the winner – whose bread was pecked off first. The temptation was too great, but they decided to go one more, and I was distractedly working on the computer when I looked up to see Albert and Chivirico taping a bread roll each to their willies with black electrical tape. They then asked me to go outside and video them playing Pico Gallo. I explained I did not want to be arrested for child abuse, so persuaded them to unstick the bread rolls (harder than sticking them on!) and just put the bread in their hands.
Here they are playing such an exciting game.
Chiv won, but wasn’t allowed to claim the reward as he had played peck the hand not peck the pecker. And here is the video of the boys discussing what they would do and playing the game.
Every day was a new challenge for the boys, ranging from building more chicken houses, to building the wall, to cooking cup cakes, birthday cakes, playing chess, planting avocados, making pancakes and when the end of the holidays came, I was grateful for the return to normality although I missed the constant laughter.
Danilo is back at University, taking six subjects so only four to go – one more semester after this one and Si Dios Quiere I will be a woman of leisure, and get back to writing book 2.