new clothes

In preparation for our trip to Guatemala—(problem: it’s not really a “trip,” and it’s not a “move” either. What to call this…event?)—some friends gifted us with some indigenous clothing for the girls. They gave it to us in the evening after the girls were asleep so we couldn’t show it to them until morning. I’m not sure who was more excited to introduce them to their new duds, me or my husband. Knowing how much the girls love dress-up, it was a given that they’d be through-the-roof thrilled.

The skirts are huge. Actually, they’re beyond huge.

The girls were appropriately amazed.

It takes two people to put a skirt on.

Or maybe I should say it takes two gringos to put a skirt on. An indigenous woman can probably do it with one hand tied behind her back while balancing a five-gallon bucket of water on her head and patting out tortillas with the other hand.

Wait. I think I lost count of how many hands there are on the human body. My bad.

The waist is basically just one giant drawstring. Once all the fabric is tightly scrunched together, we tie it shut by having the girl spin in a circle while the string coils tight around her waist. We loop the tail of the string through the string band and call it good. This is probably not correct skirt-fastening technique, but it works for now.

The top is a simple, lightweight shirt. The women wear just a cami or bra underneath. And on their feet, they wear slip-on shoes or flip-flops.

Keep in mind, it is rather chilly where we’re going. The houses are not insulated and there is no heat (except for the kitchen fires). I don’t know why the women aren’t frozen solid.

We’re not taking any chances, however. We’ll be packing leggings, socks, long underwear, fleeces, coats, etc. We’re wimps.

The girls would wear these outfits all the time if I let them. But I’m making them wait. Just a few more weeks…

This same time, years previous: a new ritual, orange-cranberry bread, smashing for pretty, chocolate pots de creme, feminism part one


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