A Big Birthday Weekend
Birthdays plus adventure!
September 21, 2018 - Bolivia
For those age 10 and up, birthday excursion weekend is a pretty big deal. On Saturday, the birthday boys and girls (18 in total) headed to Santa Cruz, the big modern city near our home. At “la feria,” a gigantic market that sells anything and everything - from DVDs to hats to jewelry - our children chose a special birthday gift. According to their age, everyone received a small amount of money to find and buy a new toy themselves! The kids enjoyed both the freedom of walking around the market and responsibility of holding and purchasing items with their own money.
After the market, all enjoyed a nice and relaxing lunch at a restaurant, and the with full stomachs, headed to the main plaza. Here, there is a beautiful, wide-open area where the children can run around and play.
One of the highlights of the day was ascending the bell tower that is attached to the old church in the plaza. From that high up, it felt like we could see everything in Santa Cruz. It was both educational and exciting for the children: They got to see and learn a bit about architecture, but also loved racing up and down the stairs to see who would be the first to the lookout.
We ended our birthday celebration with ice cream at the plaza.
The very next day, Sunday, our younger children at NPH Bolivia also got to have a special, extra birthday celebration.
Upon entering the party, our kids immediately put on their party hats: Spiderman for the boys and Mini Mouse-themed for the girls. Then, sing-along songs, ranging from 'Happy Birthday' to 'Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.'
Afterwards, each child got to create an animal mask with colored pencils. With the masks securely on their faces, each child took a swing at a piñata, filled with treats and small games. As always, it finally broke, candy scattered everywhere, and the children dove to the floor.
The party ended with a huge cake and a brilliant candle that took almost an entire minute to blow out. As the children ate their cake, they also received their gifts, spanning from fun toys or games, to more practical items, like nice new clothes.
All around it was an amazing weekend organized through our Godparents Office. And while we celebrate and recognize birthdays on their exact days as well, it is clear that the kids here really look forward to this extra large celebration together. All these celebrations, however, are only possible thanks to our godparents from around the world, who often donate more than their monthly support to make birthday presents and celebrations possible for all of us.
*Names are changed for privacy purposes.