Friday, November 23, 2012

Las Olimpiadas!

Yesterday was the Family Support Center Olympics aka Field Day. There was lots of sun, lots of dust and lots of happy energetic kids! Everyone was split into four groups of nine and wore their team color on a sash tied around their heads. Let the competitions begin!

We started off the day with an old classic: Tug of War. Unfortunately, after a couple of rounds our rope had had enough and snapped in the middle! No serious injuries, but we had to end the Tug of War competition before we could declare a winner.

Next we set up a relay using jump ropes. The competing team ran through an obstacle of ropes, having to duck or jump over them depending on their height. The team with the shortest time won. Verdict: Red team!

Each kid brought their own "costal" or big plastic sack to participate in another classic relay: the potato sack hop. Man those kids can hop!

Following the sack race the teams competed in a running relay, balancing a raw egg on a spoon, and last but not least: Water balloon toss! This was definitely the biggest hit. Each team chose two representatives to hold a costal and the rest of the team tossed water balloons into the bags. Whichever team had the most water balloons (fully intact!) at the end, won. They were surprisingly good at this! Water balloons aren't fun unless they break so we had another competition between pairs to see how far they could get while throwing one back and forth--this did the trick: lots of "splats" and wet children!

Everyone received a medal for participating in the 2012 Olympics, and the winning Green team got small plastic trophies. Until next year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


October 31st is one of the best times to be a kid in the United States. Although Halloween is not traditionally a Guatemalan holiday, it does fall before Dia de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead." Day of the Dead is a time when families and friends come together to remember loved ones that have passed. It is a celebration, and that is exactly what we had at the Family Support Center! We had a sort of hybrid Halloween-Dia de los Muertos party.

Before the festivities, 8 of the older kids came into the city for a field trip. Together, we baked three pumpkin pies and one large pumpkin bread. It really smelled like autumn in the kitchen! All four cakes turned out perfectly.

We decorated the walls and ceilings of the Family Support Center with paper jack-o-lanterns, bats and spiders. Many of the boys dressed up as Draculas, complete with teeth and dark eyebrows. Evelyn transformed into a pumpkin, Norma and Ilcy into princesses and there was even a headless horseman!

Four pumpkins were carved into jack-o-lanterns and were a big hit with everyone. The bright orange pumpkins that are so common in the states, were a spectacle! At one point we all gathered in the decorated Halloween room, turned off the lights and told spooky ghost stories. After passing around the cake and pie, it was safe to call the party a success!