It's 6.15 pm Friday night, and it's already dark outside. The family is at the table, waiting to share the meal. On the menu tonight are "enchiladas", homemade big, fried corn tortillas with mashed beans, cheese and tomato on top, and a fresh bunch of bananas for dessert.
Auntie Nery, the rotating auntie who is currently helping Aunt Rosa, and 15-year-old Nubia are in charge of serving the enchiladas. No one touches a plate until everybody is seated and has said grace out loud with hands together.
They eat in silence and with perfect manners, using fork and knife at all times. "My children are quite noisy," says Auntie Rosa, laughingly, "but during meals they strangely become very quiet."
One by one they finish their enchilada and reach for a banana, while the conversation starts to warm up.
Auntie Rosa: "Remember that tomorrow you have the Muralism activity at 8.30 am."
Lidia: "Ay, Karen, you won't be able to go because you have that book activity at 9 am!"
Karen: "But I can go."
Lidia: "No, because you won't have enough time."
Auntie: "In that book fair they show extremely expensive books, and maybe we can't afford them."
Ericka: "Mother, but if you go, they will later give you a "Nintendo" (a handheld electronic game console)."
Auntie: "Really? You should have told me earlier, so I didn't have to buy you a birthday present," she jokes. Everyone laughs.
Auntie: "And you, Nubia? Aren't you going to the beauty parlor to have your hair done for Confirmation? It looked very nice the last time, but it's long again."
Nubia: "No, Auntie, it's not necessary."
Makeyling: "But Auntie, I'm going to do her hair! You know I'm an expert in those things," she claims.
Auntie: "Good, Makey. I know Nubia will look really beautiful then."
The chatter goes on until everyone has finished. They pray again for the home's and village's welfare.
Makeyling and Auntie Nery lift the plates and take them to the kitchen. It's Lidia's and Nubia's turn to do the dishes, while Makeyling cleans the table.
As it is Friday, the children can go to bed a little later than usual, so they gather in the Auntie's room to watch one of their favorite TV shows. Auntie Rosa lies on her bed and covers herself with a sheet as the evening gets cool. The rest of the children lie down close to her or sit on the floor to enjoy the show.
They practically don't flinch for an hour full of suspense and laughter. When the show is over, they say good night to their SOS mother and go to bed. There is so much to do tomorrow!