This weekend was Palm Sunday.
On the bottom, from left to right that is “romero” (rosemary), “ruda” (rue herb) and “flor de dura” (a flowering plant, similar to a thistle). Palms in Paraguay are traditionally found with all three woven or braided in with the palm. The combination is said to keep away bad spirits. The flor de dura is believed to have medicinal benefits, best infused in a tea to treat high blood pressure. The ruda is also used as a tea by pregnant women to induce labor. Maria, our nanny, said that her mom used ruda to induce labor for all seven of her pregnancies including the last one which resulted in surprise twins!
After I brought home the palms, the boys had fun waving them around.
We brought all our palms to mass Sunday morning where the priest blessed them. With the extra long Gospel today and a late start to mass, the boys were getting rather restless as mass progressed. After communion as he did some cleanup on the altar, the priest finished off the chalice of wine as Danny watched intently. Jealous that the priest was having a drink, Danny then started asking for his own drink, saying loudly over and over, “Agua! Agua!” The entire congregation laughed at this. Normally I have a sippy cup of water with us in the diaper bag at church, but yesterday I forgot. Thankfully, another little boy happily brought over his sippy cup of water and shared it with Danny who eagerly drank it all.