Sunday, May 02, 2010

Dia del Ninos

April 30th is Dia del Ninos, Day of the Children, in Mexico and it is really a day of fun and celebration. 
My friend Tracey and I joined Sylvia and Allyson from the English Speakers in Action group that I am a part of, and helped to sponsor a party for about 70 children at a special needs school.  The wonderful teachers dressed up as children, and a university theatre group presented a play while wearing stilts!
  
And while I admit to not understanding all of the play's dialogue, I asked a Spanish speaking friend for clarification because the theme seemed to be a little "adult" for these kids aged 5 - 15.  
 
Sure enough, I gathered that the character dressed in black represented death and the other characters wondered which one was about to die.  One of the funnier characters believed his days were numbered, so said he may as well get drunk and party if he was going to die anyways...and at one point suggested "Death" should take off her shirt so he could see the stars!!  Anyway, the kids loved it and the actors did a great job of getting around on stilts.

Below:  These two little guys below, are my favorites.  Whenever I see them, they are stuck together like two peas in a pod and are always happy. Before we served lunch to everyone, a group from a college came and organized games and dancing for the kids.

Unfortunately mentally and physically handicapped children are often shunned in Mexico, but thanks to the amazing staff, these kids have a place where they are cared for and are taught skills to help them as they go through life.

The celebration for Dia del Ninos continued when we arrived home.  

Below:  We were invited to a neighbour's "first art exposition"complete with ribbon cutting!  At 8 years old, and just starting art classes, XJimena is extremely talented and was thrilled when Roger bought one of her paintings.
Our community was also hosting a block party to celebrate the day, and had karaoke, an inflatable playground and pinatas for the children.  As you can see, the neighbours (including us) were bundled up in jackets to ward off the chilly evening as the temperature dipped to the low 20s!  I know.  As Brad said, he's lost us forever to warm climates...
It's always fun watching kids whack a pinata and hearing them sing the little jingle that is sung while the next child is waiting for their turn.  Roger hadn't experienced it before and got a kick out of seeing the baseball-like swings many of the kids used and the ensuing mad scramble as the kids dive onto the candy when it falls out of the pinata.
Below:  Hot dog carts are popular late night snack stops throughout the city.  The vendor that catered the block party served up delicious hot dogs with fried onions, jalapenos and the works!
While nothing can top the years of amazing block parties on Sunhaven Road in Calgary - it was a great experience getting to know more of our neighbours.

Dia del Ninos was a wonderful celebration and I was glad I could see children having happy memories being made that will last their lifetime.

We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.                                                                                       Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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