Friday, March 18, 2011

A Wedding In Garbanzo

If you're willing to spend an hour in a truck, driving to the top of a mountain,
on a steep dirt road covered in rocks and filled with holes,
you'll come to the small village of Garbanzo - home to 25 or 30 families.

For the poorest of the families, the average home looks like this:

As recently as just two years ago the government of Mexico ran power lines to the village of Garbanzo, although most homes are still without power.
And they have no running water.

For those few lucky enough to have land, they farm.
They raise corn for tortillas and goats for meat and milk.
For another lucky few, they obtain visas to work in the United States.
And for those who remain, they do what they can to eek out an existence.

Ten years ago Baby Sister and I visited Garbanzo for the first time.
We were there to build an elementary school.

Just a few weeks ago Jason and I returned to Garbanzo, this time to attend a wedding.

(The school...ten years later.)
(Easy on the comments ladies.  If one more person mentions how big I am - and I'm not talking about my belly - I may refuse to post another picture as long as I'm pregnant.  I'm just sayin'.)

The people in these village look for any chance to do something other than their daily routine.
This wedding gave them that chance.
People dressed in their finest clothes - and came from villages as far as two hours away.
The young men come on their horses, looking for a pretty young girl who could possibly be their wife.

The family of the groom killed six pigs to have enough food to feed everyone.
Jason and I were grateful we didn't see how they cooked the meat until after we had eaten it.

The groom is from Garbanzo, and the bride is from the 'big city' - an hour away.
She left the comforts of her parent's home: electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, the convenience of grocery stores, etc. to move to Garbanzo.
My friend Ana and I hope she will be happy.  It's a big adjustment she will have to make.

This is the 'church' where they got married.

The groom spent a few years working in the United States and was able to build a home for his new bride.
The home has two rooms: a bedroom and a living room/kitchen area.
Theirs is the only home in Garbanzo with a bathroom.

(The white building to the left is the bathroom.)

(The bedroom)

We left the party just as it was really getting started.
The groom's friends in the United States went in together and hired a mariachi band for the evening.
The music was loud - the people were drunk - and it seemed that a good time was going to be had by everyone.

It did my heart good to spend the day in Garbanzo.
Maybe it was because Jason finally saw that part of my life.

And somehow, spending those 10 days in Mexico helped me to be at peace about putting that part of my life away for a little while.
I'll go back someday, and I'll be involved again in doing humanitarian work...
But in a few months from now I'll have a different focus - and it's exactly as it should be.


Baby Sister said...

I hate that picture of me...I was so bleh on that trip...
Happier thoughts, our school looks awesome!! That made me happy. :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

Beautiful Noelle! The people, your heart, all of it. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I think you look happy and beautiful.

Thank you for sharing Garbanzo. This post made me pause and think.

@ Baby Sister:

You look like a kid and that is good. :)

Jamie said...

Thanks for sharing that part of your heart...such beautiful people.

I think you look Gorgeous!!! I love the glow you have from baby Emily...she is one lucky little girl to have you for a mom!

Oh...and to you other people calling my Friend "BIG"...HOW RUDE! Obtain some manners... (said in the nicest possible way)

Brynn said...

You look beautiful! What a neat experience. You're a great person.

Julie said...

I'm sorry I haven't stopped by in a while. You look so beautiful. Little Emily is going to have the most wonderful family.
Take care and thank you so much for sharing your world.
God Bless!!

Kate said...

I wish I had been at that party! You look awesome Noelle, stop fishing for compliments. ;) said...

This was a sweet little tour that reminds us what's important.

Shan said...

Did you ever know that people say the strangest (and stupidest) things to pregnant women? Ugh! And yet I cannot see what negative thing anyone could say about how you look. You look beautiful!

(I remember someone commenting that I was "as big as a house" while pregnant with Mad. Admittedly, my belly was the largest with her, but that still isn't what you want to hear! I told Tom about it and he said, "No way are you a baby HOUSE... more like a condominium." Lucky for him I burst out laughing at that one.)

Lula Lola said...

I bet the bride really will have an adjustment. Sweet that the husband built that for her. I hope they're very happy! How neat that you got to be there!

Heather said...

Very nice. I hope they are very happy!!

You look great to me!

Jessica said...

How awesome!

Emily and Kenny said...

oh my gosh! this blog made me miss the people of Portrerillos so much! what a fun trip for you! you look so beautiful and happy! and I LOVE the name of your sweet little girl...

jayayceeblog said...

Sounds like a fun celebration. Makes me very grateful to have an indoor bathroom!