Here in Ecuador a girl´s 15th birthday is the special one. We recently had the privilege of attending the ceremony of a friend of ours, Johanna.
The event took place in her church. First the 14 flower girls and the boys partnering them processed down the aisle. The girls were in splendid white and pink dresses and the boys in black suits.
Next the birthday girl entered with her pink dress and companion turned out immaculately... They processed through the lines of escorts lining the aisle.
Once Johana was seated at the front of the church her father took off her flat shoes and put high heels on her feet. Johanna had come of age. She was now a woman. Her sister carried the Bible on a pink cushion. Her mother presented it to Johana as a valuable resource for her adult life ahead. Then her father gave a speech about the funny things Johanna had done as a child - like the time she put salt in the lemonade, instead of sugar, and took it to her father while he was working in the fields. Her mother followed with a speech about Johanna´s special qualities and ambition to study to be a nurse.
The ceremony complete, the women bustled to the kitchen to serve the food. Everyone received a plate of steaming rice and a slice of the huge pink cake.
The party continued with games and music, with much laughter and joy. Everyone was pleased to be celebrating the life of a special young lady, who was marking a new stage in her life.