|Elena, Paul, paper bag pinatas.|
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Good feelings at a birthday party
Today is a historic first--we are invited to an Italian birthday party. Never mind that it is a child’s party and we are the only adults. It still makes us feel a little more like we belong here.
The party is for the 12-year-old daughter of Davide Seghieri and Elena Benvenuti, residents of Casa Seghieri. It is Elena’s idea to invite us. She is a guida turistica, a tour guide, and the only person we know in the neighborhood who speaks English. She is molto simpatica and makes us feel quite comfortable by introducing us to the nine girls at the party, who all say hello, in English. Then she involves us in the party when she can by having us draw names out of a cup to select which girls go first in one of the games, and she also has us ask simple trivia questions to the girls as part of the games.
This is not a typical festa di compleanno. Many parents fork out big bucks to take their child’s entire class out to pizza or a movie, and the parents just sit off to the side while the kids eat, talk and make a general mess because they don’t really have anything else to do. Elena has planned games that involve the girls planning dance routines and acting out barzellette, or jokes. They also swing blindfolded at some piñatas, which in this case are really just paper bags. We bring an Aerobe as a gift, and it turns out to be a great way to fill the gaps in action between the games.
While we are observing and helping, neighbors Dante and Antonella wander over and talk to us, which makes us feel a little more a part of the neighborhood. We take lots of photos to give to Elena, have some delicious torta, made by Davide’s mom and then we are off. It is a small thing, really, but it is the highlight of our day.