04 November 2013

A Special Quinceañera

Fifteen Halloweens ago five women after weeks of hard work, sleepless nights, endless road trips, cases of diet soda, and the occasional ridicule from the conservative core on Duke's campus stepped out onto campus and proclaimed ourselves.  We were Kappa Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Incorporated.  We were excited, energized, and a little cocky, but ready to put our own brand of stamp on the Duke world.  We brought Pi Chi to Duke and we opened up the south to Pi Chi.

We were such a motley crew but in a way that's what made it work.  Joia was the one who brought us all together.  A bit of a stress bunny but at the end of the day you could always count on her to get things done.  Lisbert was the brains of the operation.  Fueled by a can of Diet Coke, there wasn't anything she couldn't do.  Solimar was the heart of our group. She was our peacekeeper and perpetual silver-lining-finder.  Annette was our comedian.  She found a way to make us laugh even when it was her complete inability to stay awake past midnight.  I was the caboose.  I watched our backs.  I was never shy about putting people in their places if they even thought about being disrespectful to us or what we were trying to do.
Annette, Paola, Lisbert, Solimar, and Joia
(Asihüex, Micalia, Cáilat, Xarikén, and Khewasíl)

Fifteen years later, it's insane to think about the impact that the five of us had on our organization, our university, and even on the region.  Even now, women I've known for years and women I've never met are planning a celebratory weekend for Kappa's Quinceañera.  Unfortunately, I can't make it but it gives me the warm and fuzzies to know that I played my part in the history that they are celebrating.

I owe a lot to the chapter, to the organization, and to those four women.  I know more about Cuban culture than any Colombian should know.  I jumped off a cliff in Puerto Rico during a last minute spring break trip to Soli's house.  I have a true appreciation of how much work can get done in the wee hours after midnight and before 5am.  I am a mean wielder of a hot glue gun.  I have an incredible network of Hermanas who love me, my children, my life, and all of my quirks.

Yo soy Micalia.  I am a Pi Chi.  I will always be a Pi Chi.  Felíz Quinceañera, Kappa Chapter and all Southeast Hermanas!

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