It really does seem like a fantasy land here sometimes.
This beautiful complete rainbow decided to make it's appearance immediately following our sister Kenia Cordoba's funeral. Poor thing was a young sister in my congregation who I only got to meet a couple of times due to her health. Almost exactly a year ago her leg was bothering her and when the doctors opened her to do the surgery they found raging cancer. She lost her leg and went through a bout of chemotherapy. But right around December they stopped the chemo because it just wasn't doing any good. Then the waiting game began. She was very much so at peace with the fact she was dying and had an excellent reputation in the cong. I would have liked to have known her better...she was a regular pioneer before she got sick, and many friends said she was always encouraging them to go out with her. She had a huge wake, funeral, and burial, and although I personally did not know her well, her death was hard on many people who are special to me here. That was hard to watch.
I had some new culture shocks during this experience. I've posted before about the vela or wake that was in front of my house, but I'd never gone through the WHOLE experience before. Here, they don't treat the bodies (embalm) before burial so for instance, like in Kenia's case, she died Sunday afternoon and was buried Monday afternoon. We were at her house until about 2am showing support to the family. After the talk Monday, the ENTIRE population who was at the talk followed the horse/carriage carrying her casket to the cemetery. The cemetery is on the far side of town and no shortcuts are taken....it's all the main roads in Granada. I asked someone about that reflecting how to me, it didn't seem fair to make the family/friends walk in the heat so long after their loss. They said it's tradition as this would be the person's last "look" at their fine city. Kind of poetic, huh? The cemetery was the hardest part. I was used to the US tradition of waiting until everyone leaves to do any dirty work. MAYBE they throw some dirt on the grave for show, but that's it. No, here the cemeteries are above-ground in concrete slabs that typically hold 6 caskets per slab. It's tradition here that in front of the whole group they slide the casket in and brick up/concrete up the opening as a final "sealing." That was hard to watch for me. It just was very....final. And the poor family just lost it. Kenia's sister ended up fainting and had to be taken to the hospital.
After all that it sure was nice to see that rainbow