As it turned out, she was right. The cachimbo is the ceremony to mark the first year of secondary school. The kids wear their uniforms (plus a cape and hat), the godparents paint marks on their faces, and everyone eats lunch. The whole thing is mostly a fundraiser for the school, because the godparents are supposed to give money to the school and a present to the kid. The other godmother sent the money and present so I really just showed up.
Afterward all the hubub, each family pulled out their picnic basket and found a place to sit and share the meal they brought. We had guinea pig. When the food was gone, the kids cleared out their classroom and danced. Grandma and I took off. In the end, I only had to stay 3 hours. The whole thing turned out better than I expected, particularly because I know it was meaningful for my neighbors and I got to spend a fair amount of time chatting with them. They are growing daily as a significant part of my life and I think vice versa.