Well, the holiday of genius has finally arrived, one of my very favorites. It´s time to whip out the overpriced candy bars and dress like something you´re not. Halloween combines my two favorite things: Junk food and pretend (I didn´t minor in theater for nothing). But even though this special day is not really celebrated in the D.R. (hey, people already have their Christmas lights up), I have still found many ways to celebrate, because, well, I´m surrounded by the horror, THE HORROR!
Scary Scenario 1 - The timeless debate of Rocky vs. Más Más. I had no idea that said debate even existed until one day I told someone how much I like Más Más candy bars. This person then told me that they prefer Rocky's. Now, being a fairly intelligent individual, I assumed all people knew that Más Más bars are superior. What is the difference between the two? Well, a Más Más bar contains a delicious combination of salty peanuts and sweetened raisins. It´s like 2 candy bars for the price of one (which is still more than I like to pay). Rocky is just chocolate and almonds. As is obvious, this is a very fair and unbiased description with all the information needed to make the RIGHT decision. And it´s always Más Más. In a world where Snickers and Twix cost enough to make a ghost blush, these are the options we are left with. And when it´s one-on-one, the heat is also on, and the sides are chosen, and the opinions are fierce. But even though Rocky may love Emily, and some people may love Rocky, Sweeney loves Más Más. And that´s just all there is to it.
Scary Scenario 2- And who doesn´t love a good horror story around this time of year? I always have. And luckily, I´m reading the best one yet. And it´s a tale as old as time (o sea, THE beginning of time). Want to give it a read? Just crack open your nearest Old Testament. I really enjoy the New Testament, but the first part of the Bible is the very definition of sick and twisted. Ever heard of original sin? I think I found it. Holy nasty if the people back in the day didn´t know how to do each other wrong. I´ve read about so many crazy rules, customs, carnage, and perversions that I almost have to remind myself I´m allowed to read what I´m reading. Fortunately, there´s some good stuff too, (well, it is God´s word), but the part that reads like a history is beyond odd and cringe-worthy. I´m just glad that the Law of Moses (the lesser law given to Israel cuz they couldn´t handle the higher one) is ca put. I don´t think I could handle it. I just hope I CAN handle reading the rest of the good word. I have a lot of horror, I mean, books, left to go.
Scary Scenario 3 - Sadly, I can´t really participate in one of my favorite traditions, that is, dress up and impersonate some sort of person, place, or thing. For the first time in a long time, I´ll be doing a costume repeat, o sea, I´ll be going as a sister missionary. Although last year, I went as Hermana Brown, so if I went as Hermana Sweeney this year, I guess that would be somewhat of a change. I will be wearing orange and black, at least. But speaking of costumes, for the kids that go to school here, a costume (or uniform), is an everyday occurrence. It´s actually mandatory. You can´t show up to school without your blue dress shirt, khaki pants, and black dress shoes. Normally for me, there´s nothing more horrific than having to be or look like everyone else. Where´s the originality? But here, I actually think it´s a great idea. With so many people in poverty, few parents here would have money to help their children look trendy. Uniforms really are a pretty good equalizer, and the lesson the distractions of people who live by the tag line "skin is in." As I may have mentioned, it gets pretty hot here, and a lot of people dress accordingly. I could see how that would provide, er, problems, for people who don´t go to school to study anatomy. I´ve seen the things that girls who aren´t even preteens are wearing, and it´s scarier than a lack of originality. So I guess I´m double-minded concerning this scenario. I´m sure as heck glad I didn´t have to wear a uniform. But I am more than happy to see an unbiased wave of blue and khaki descending from various parts of the city around the hours of noon, 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. OK technically, I´m in the house by 9:00 p.m. But if I could see them, I´d feel comforted. Oh, and in case you´re wondering, the different hours have to do with different school schedules. Some kids go in the morning, others in the afternoon, and others in the evening. It´s due to a lack of funds, teachers, etc. So the kids here actually do go to school for less time than in the states. But they seem to still have just as homework, so I guess the horror evens out.
Scary Scenario 4- And finally, I have to admit that there´s not a whole lot scarier than admitting that I´m still not perfect... at Spanish. Muhahahahahahahaha. But seriously, I wonder if the day will come when I won´t say something that makes people chuckle like when a 5 year old says something mistakenly adorable. I was in the bread store the other day (yes, that´s a direct translation), and I asked the guy to give me "4 pedazos de pan." That would be four pieces of bread. But here, if you say you want a piece of bread, they would just rip one in half, give it to you, and wonder why you´re a weirdo. You just say "I want four breads." But this morning, I made the same mistake inside a colmado, asking for a "piece" of bread. The old lady in front of me started to chuckle, as did the owner of the colmado. My companion was like, "oh, man, I´m gonna have to write that in my journal, so I don´t forget it. When you say that, it just seems like you´re going around, begging for bread." Perfect. I wasn´t intending to trick or treat for bread, but if it would actually work, I think I would do it. I´m really losing a lot of my shame. It´s sorta horrifying.
And that´s a mission-tastic Halloween for you. It´s weird to think this time next year, I´ll be carving pumpkins, eating bite-sized candy bars, and well, that´s about all I can say for certain, because I have no idea where I´ll be in a year from now. And that´s the really scary thing- the uncertainty that is the future. But I guess it´s also the adventure. And it hasn´t failed me so far. And I hope it never does. And thus, I make an end. HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)