You would think that baby showers were a truly North American tradition. After all, no on registers here in Peru and why would you include a tradition of buying gifts in these supposedly "poorer" countries? Surprisingly baby showers do exist in Peru and they are called just the same "baby shower." I don't know why there isn't a Spanish name for this event but there you have it.
I was able to experience my first cross-cultural baby shower last week. This baby shower was for a couple from the San Jeronimo church who are having their first child in a couple of months. It was at their house which was not so easy to find. About five of us got in a taxi with an address and an idea. Unfortunately it was not a very clear idea and we drove to about 3 different places before we found the 3 story house with the balloons. The taxi driver was very patient and we even tried to follow some helpful people's (on the side of the street) suggestions. (side note about asking for directions in Peru: most people will want to be helpful whether they really know the answer or not. You never know if you are getting correct directions.)
The shower followed some standard North American patterns: games, gifts & food. Our game was to do things that a baby would do (some people were better at this than others!). The gifts were not the registered type and there were a lot of blankets with bears. The missionary ladies went in together to buy a walker which looked strangely like a body bag when I tried to wrap it up! The food was snackey stuff like cookies, cheese curls and soda but we also had cake and aji de gallina (a typical dish made with yellow peppers and chicken that is eaten over potatoes, hard boiled eggs and lettuce). The aji was a definite Peruvian touch to the baby shower.
Here are some pictures from the event: