We had a day where a bunch of surrounding schools came with their bands to play and compete and be patriotic. My kids and I watched from the second floor.
We also had a big parade with neighboring schools. My kids dressed up as flowers, a bear, and a frog. It was really cute. We marched around San Andres Itzapa with our band playing in the back.
My favorite activity by far was the torch run. Only the older kids went and it was such a unique and unifying experience. First we drove about an hour and half away to swim and have fun.
Then we ran home! what?!? We went to the town San Martin where the mayor made a little speech and lit our torch that we would bring all the way back to NPH. Ok - we were a little low on time so we drove about a half hour first, but afterwards the kids and volunteers ran through several towns, lots of hills, for about 2 hours. Random people from random towns cheered us on and threw water on us. We were exhausted; I didn't know if I was going to make it. At one point I was way behind everyone with our bus on my butt honking. All the tired people had already climbed on to take a break, but I had to keep going. It was an incredible feeling to hear a bunch of kids cheering on "Estephanie! Estephanie!" and I caught up to the rest. Then we finally made it to Parramos. (ok, most took a break, I skipped some hills...). The younger kids came out to meet us along with the tios and we all ran the last stretch together. Then we lit the torch and sang Guatemala's national hymn (well not me... I'm american) but it was super cool.
This awesome kid from my section explained that running is seen as a symbol of freedom. I had never thought of that before. I really like it. We saw other groups running with their torches and we all mutually cheered each other on.
Not that I have favorites or anything, but he definitely helps me remember why I'm here and why I want to be.
Other than all the independence celebrations, everything has been going well with the Special Olympics and working with the kids with special needs. Recently I started helping with Club Pica Pica which is a once a week cooking class. I really like working with other volunteers and I think the kids really enjoy it. I love having so much variety :)