Saturday, October 10, 2009

Respeto a los muertos

It is a hot, dusty morning with high puffy clouds on the horizon. My friend Wilson and I take the bus together to the edge of town and get on a smaller one. We are going to visit our friend Claudia, bringing her roses from the market and cards we made the night before with all the kids. Her uncle has just died, her and her family are hurting. Wilson and Claudia are our interns, and are definatley two of my favorite people here. They are both in high school, but for some reason our friendship makes perfect sense. We eat too much candy, talk about boys, giggle to the point of tears, listen to pop music on the radio... We get off the bus and walk through the small pueblo, through the high corn fields. Claudia is sitting, waiting for us on the side of the road. She is wearing her best traditional dress, a green hand woven shirt and skirt with lace and sequins. We follow her down a path to the house of her uncle, we are ariving at the time of the wake. It is a small campesino house with dirt floors and wood slat walls, overflowing with relatives, dogs and children dodge in and out of legs, the pigs are tied in the corner of the yard, the chickens roam free. Wilson and I are immediatley handed steaming bowls of soup and hot tamales, and are sat with the family. I am introduced to Claudia´s grandpa, his eyes are red from crying. We give Claudia her cards, give the roses to the sons of the uncle. We go outside and join the mass of people, men holding the casket high, Claudias father praying over the body, incense burning, old women wailing and pulling their hair, young women singing hyms. It is loud and hot, we all cry together as the casket is carried around the dirt yard and down the road to the church.