Use this post as a cordial invitation to The Wonderful World of the Kitchen Table. See “Mi Casa Es Su Casa” for a visual. I know I have mentioned a couple of times how deeply I enjoy sitting down to breakfast every morning and dinner every evening to eat with my roommates, Amanda and Shina, y mi familia tica. A later post will have to be dedicated to the food, because this one is dedicated to the conversation. Dedisation.
Yesterday’s dinner conversation was especially entertaining. Meal conversations are a unique mix of story time, misinterpretation, figuring out every possible way to say we love the food, trying to figure out what the food actually is, and laughter. (Example of Misinterpretation. One night we were having vegetable lasagna and Jose said he liked only the broccoli inside and nothing else which I understood as, “I like everything except the broccoli.” I mean come on, that thang was full of good stuff how could you only like one part? So, I ate his broccoli for him and he looked at me, shocked, and pretended like he was dying making choking hands around his neck. I took this as, “You’re going to die, you just ate nasty broccoli,” but I love broccoli so I was like in my head, “Let me do him another favor and eat the other broccoli.” So I did, and THAT was when I figured out this kid loves broccoli and his choking action was him saying, “I’m going to die because you are sitting here eating the only part of my lasagna I like!” People, sometimes you may think you’re doing someone a favor by eating their broccoli, but in reality you aren’t.)
Back to last night. Initially, I asked mama tica if Jose was named after anyone. This then led to a story about the background of their family and Jose’s birth which then led to a story about him being only a couple weeks old and very sick. No one knew he was sick, and when he was 15 days old his heart stopped beating and he technically died. Mama tica cried and cried on her knees on the kitchen floor. Then an angel came into the house and brought him back to life! After, mama tica and her friend that was there sped him to the hospital. She had tears in her eyes as she told the story and my jaw was dropped so low it almost touched the tortilla on my plate. WHAT? Un Milagro! (a miracle)
Then it got more wild. Apparently their old maid who was only here for our first week (before moving back to Nicaragua) had a baby in July 2012 without knowing she was 8.5 months pregnant. No idea y’all, no idea. That morning, two students living with them at the time, were sitting at the table eating breakfast. I guess she went in the bathroom and just, wap, had a baby. Apparently, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” is a show in Costa Rica, too, (says Jose). Maybe she will be on it. I hope we don’t have any mornings that dramatic– meals are wild enough. Anyways, the baby is alive and well and mama tica even showed us pictures of him on her cell phone. Un Milagro!
“Necesito un milagro de un novio!” said Amanda and mama tica thought this was the funniest thing… as did I. Together, the three of us formed “Equipo Novio Milagro” or “Team Boyfriend Miracle.” Now accepting applications, and if you want to date mama tica you must be “strong, beautiful, smart, & have a good heart.” Inquire within for my requirements.
I will, however, publicly announce a future family requirement- We will sit down to meals together. Maybe I’m still getting used to 40 minute breakfasts (see “Getting Used To It“), but growing up, eating as dinner as a family was one of my favorite times of the day. To this day, we still have inside family jokes about things that happened at meal times in years past. I feel bad for my brother-in-law (shout out Z!) because we love bringing these childhood memories up… particularly at meal times. I am thankful for these routine family meals in Costa Rica, because my immediate family is so spread out throughout the United States. Even if we did live near one another, life is so fast paced (even more so in the U.S. than in Costa Rica… soon I’ll introduce y’all to “Tico Time”) that sitting down to a meal with your loved ones, no cell phone rule enforced, and having genuine conversation is just a special time, un milagro in itself.