On Friday we had the day off to celebrate el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). My morning was spent in the Calvario neighborhood where for blocks around the cemetery, vendors were selling flowers and making wreaths. We arrived before eight, but the streets were already packed. Case in point, on my way home, my neck started itching and I felt some strange bumps the spanned down my shoulder. I couldn't figure out where the rash came from, when my friend reminded me that in the course of the morning, we'd both been hit in the face with bouquets at least ten times. About four of those times the carrier realized it was happening and we had a good laugh, the other six flower slaps in the face, not so much. I know I was whacked with one bouquet three times as the man turned around when he heard someone call his name. But then again, all things considered, I'm sure I bumped into people without realizing- it was a zoo.
These are the times, honestly, when I pinch myself and wonder if life can get any better. The Day of the Dead sounds morbid, but it is really a celebration of the things that we love and miss about those who aren't with us anymore. In Guatemala, they are brought bright flowers and greenery that is alive and fresh, and people hang out with family, cleaning tombs, and I imagine, telling stories.