Le rassemblement


Back in January as I packed I seemed to labor over every decision, every article of clothing and how I could fit it into my growing suitcase. I guess in part it was because I just felt that life had been in a state of upheaval for so long trying to prepare that it seemed impossible to imagine three seasons in a new climate, in stone buildings with no central heating or the unimaginable heat. I would call up Wilson or send her a text message asking her for daily advice. It felt silly but there comes a point where you lean on those around you so your brain can manage the more difficult tasks (like the paperwork, if you remember how awful that was!)

I remember she said, “Christina, you need to pack a dress.” So I did. Until recently they’d never made an appearance but finally Flavie had a birthday party and so I did my best to squeeze my hips back into my dress that fit like a glove before and thankfully I did manage to rise to the occasion. It was my “Saturday in a dress” 50 something of her friends all gathered for dinner and dancing and spent the night in our normally empty house. We didn’t finish dessert until after 1am and we danced between each course learning how to salsa, mambo, merengue among other things before just letting people to their own devices after dessert. Admittedly I was a little shy being the only foreigner and having been unable to eat beyond the first course (there were four) I was so full. Thankfully my dance partner was also a little shy so we managed to go at the same pace of laughter, sit down, have a glass, get back up and try again.

It felt nice to get dressed up and have an occasion. When you live this far in the country the opportunities are few but it’s something that just gets me going. We all know I love a good party. I think more than anything I love hosting them but here I’m just a guest. I’m allowed to put on the dress, do my makeup and hair and just enjoy the festivities.

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