Still at the school, I was talking with two women and so I asked them, "Is it true that you can only roast coffee at night?" Meli and Gladys surprised me with the enthusiastic unison of their response. "Yes!" Coming form two women that can't normally agree on anything, I couldn't hide a choked out laugh.
Sure enough, Grandma confirmed that roasting coffee is only a night time activity.
I head home and decide I'll ask my neighbor Camila for help since it won't be far to walk at night. She was making bollos, boiled ground corn logs, and I asked some clarifying questions, but I had the general idea. So then I dropped the bomb, "I know we can't do it until later, but would you please help me roast coffee tonight? Because I know you can only roast coffee at night." She seemed proud and smiled as if to say, "the girl doesn't know how to make bollos, probably the easiest food in the world, but at least she's got some common sense."
I asked her why that was and she went through the list of prohibited post-coffee roasting activities, including, but not limited to: washing your hands, brushing your teeth, drinking cold water, going outside, and letting a breeze enter your house. Ok. I told her I was glad she would be there to make sure I didn't mess up and put myself in harms way.
Omayra and Carolina came over later on and I asked them what actually happens if you do these things. Their answers echoed those throughout the day and the effects ranged from pain throughout your entire body to permanent muscle spasms to death.
Their examples were: A man was toasting rice, went to bathe, and was dead as a door nail sitting at the table by the time the food was served. Another guy drank something cold while he was eating something really hot... and then he died. This also applies to getting your hands wet after ironing. Any time you're mixing extreme heat with cold they say your body can go into shock. I guess they've never ran from the sauna in a bikini and rolled in the snow!
The funny thing is that I've actually roasted coffee before, in December with Yolanda, and was never warned about my possible death or disfigurement. Nope. We just smiled and took turns taking pictures...
I made it out alive. Ready to roast coffee another day.