The Big Birthday Party in Colombia

The big party!

I mentioned in another post that I was in Colombia for a friend’s 50th birthday party. It was QUITE a party so I thought I’d give you a little of my experience because it was so different than I’m used to. The photo above is of me with the salsa dancers who were excellent and taught us a thing or two!

Camacho and his beautiful wife Martha who did most of the organizing!

The party lasted all day. We started at 3pm and left at 1am! You’ll notice that everyone is wearing a white shirt and a white hat – also part of the party vibe! We started with some amazing fruit drinks – great way to cool down in the hot sun. Salsa dancers entertained us with amazing dancing – they were a group that had, cumulatively, over 50 years of dancing experience. Pretty damn good. Then they gave us a small salsa lesson – I have a lot more learning to do. 😮 But I did get up on the dance floor and try!

“It was a day full of love, music, dancing, food and so much enjoyment.”

Then came the roasted pig. This was quite an event. Camacho’s dad chose the pig the day before the party. It was then prepared and roasted on a grill for most of the day. Watching the guys pick it up and turn it over to roast the other side was really something. It took three men to prop it up and even then it didn’t look easy. We feasted on the pig during the evening. It was cut up into ribs and pieces of meat that we enjoyed with salad and arepas. Nobody went hungry that’s for sure!

Salsa dancers performing at the party – it was amazing!

Photograph by Heather Markel, copyright 2019

A few of us made a speech – Camacho is a great guy and we wanted to thank him and his family! I stayed with his Aunt the whole time, who is such a lovely person, as is his entire family who I met. So, I decided to say something and that’s when I learned that my Spanish is good enough to actually give a speech in Spanish! Instead of asking someone to translate for me, I just went for it. I started in Spanish, noting that it’s the official language of Colombia, and that seemed to be appreciated. Camacho’s family is incredibly welcoming and his friends become your friends as soon as you meet them – very special!

After we finished eating we were handed glowing jewelry and a DJ started playing dance music. It was like being transported to a nightclub without going anywhere! I was quite amused when they started playing Spanish music I had never heard of, and all the guests with any Central or South American roots were singing the songs and dancing the choreographed dance steps while I watched feeling like I understood nothing! The Mariachi band was the last piece but they arrived an hour late, at 1am, so we all went home for a snooze after a long and wonderful day! But hey, it’s pretty funny to drive off and see a truck full of Mariachi players all dressed up with now, nowhere to go. What a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday – happy birthday to Camacho!

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