After spending just two months States side we sensed that we were missing something, but were unable to name the thing that it was. We celebrated with family. We broke bread with friends. We enjoyed a variety of activities in heated homes and frigid climates. We enjoyed times of joy and also difficult times with those we love.
Yet we were missing something. We sensed that something was not right.
And then we came back to Nicaragua and within two days we were able to put a name to the something that had been resting on the tips of our tongues, la piñata. It had been over two months since we had the experience of old and young coming together in celebration; dancing and swinging violently, eyes covered, hips gyrating to the music with the unifying task of freeing the dulces from their captivity.
In three weeks we have taken part in the dismantling of one star, one Spiderman and one car. I have danced as well as I can to the music, while swinging a stick. I have dove into a pile of sweaty people in order to grasp a candy or two and I may have knocked over a grandma in the process (yes that is very normal).
It was the piñata all along. We are thankful the tradition exists in the northern regions of the world, but we may have to bring the Nicaraguan twist of this wonderful tradition with us upon our return someday.