Thursday was a real treat for me! Some of my daughters are dear friends with the Ecuadorian ambassador's wife. They do sleepovers, play dates, chats on facebook. When the Latin American embassies decided to put on a festival showcasing the food and fashions of their countries, these sweet friends asked my girls to help them represent Latin America! They went for several rehearsals and came home telling me stories of "amazing salsa dancers" and "how to walk the runway." I thought it was so hilariously creative of God to send us all the way to the Middle East to let my Turkey and Singaporean-born daughters represent Latin America! My friend M, the ambassador's wife (and pretty much the classiest lady I've ever met) invited me to be her guest. And my sweet hub CC said he'd substitute teach for me for the afternoon.
And so, I called out the spelling pre-test with lightning speed, gave them their homework papers, put on some fresh lipstick, and hopped in a cab with these great friends (whose daughters were in it as well). It was in the Ankara Palace, a decades-old classy hotel which reminded me ever so much of the old Hot Springs hotel where we used to sit and watch people ballroom dance. Creaky stairs, huge chandeliers, ornate woodwork. It was awesome.
What in the world does a school teacher wear to a fashion show? I threw on my boots and a Scottish scarf.
There were displays from all the countries. This jaguar is all beaded! We had hor dourves of real chips (fried) and guacamole, made by all the hispanic maids living with the embassy families. Um. Good. I threw down a drink that was solid white and cold (not milk. not alcoholic.). It was so smooth and creamy and cinnamony, I have no idea what I drank.
And then we entered the ballroom. With the paparazzi. And I realized this was an even bigger deal than I thought.
After some speeches welcoming us, we had some live Latin dancing. Salsa. Tango. Wow. I'd vote for them on Dancing with the Stars. I'd text their numbers several times. My friend L and I kept discussing how we might get our husbands to take lessons with us. I'll let you know if that happens.
And then the little dolls came out. Sweet Cheeks represented Ecuador proudly with her dear Ecuadorian friend.
Firstborn represented Venezuela. This costume is minus her amazing pom-pom ball headband. But not to worry, it's all on youtube. She was so poised and so proud to represent them, holding the little hand of the ambassador's daughter, and it shows as she walks the catwalk. The Venezuelan ambassador's wife was so happy to have her wear the costume, she brought her a gift of thanks. I told her we'd save that treasure, and she could one day tell her children all about it. (Please check out her ball headband and war paint, missing here!!) Twinkle Toes was dressed in a traditional Chilean costume. She was so proud to wear this beautiful suit, hat, and boots. Though that blonde hair looks very un-Chilean, she was proud to represent them. One of the school mommies said it perfectly, "They have the Latino heart, that's all that matters."
Here's the newspaper article
And for this girl, who spent many months in Mexico and truly thought she'd be living there in a hut one day, loving on people, shining my light, it was a little reminder that God knows I have the Latino heart, too.