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


  • Ciara

    How about calling it a sabbatical?
    What an amazing opportunity. My husband and I are in the throes of deciding how to live next and travelling with kids is a part of our dreamed future. I'm really enjoying reading your journey. (Ciara)

  • The Domestic Fringe

    I still can't believe how huge that skirt is. It's amazing you made it fit the kids. They look cute in their new outfits.

    I'm definitely a wimp in the cold. I wear lots and lots of layers, so I'd be bring the fleece too.

    This is such an amazing opportunity for your family. I'm really happy you are all able to go on this "event".

  • KTdid

    "Over-the-top Hop"
    (That 'over-the-top' part could be loosely translated to mean any number of things, whatever suits your fancy)


  • jodi

    Beautiful outfits!! I spent a month in Guatemala helping with a childrens outreach thing and I love the culture so much. I was in Guatemala City but we spent a lot of time in the smaller villages as well.

  • AmyShow

    leggings are a fantastic idea. I didn't own/have a pair at the time, but living in Cusco w/out heat during the rainy season made me want them so bad.

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