sábado, 10 de noviembre de 2012

NPH Anniversary, Friends Visiting, and Day of the Dead

NPH Guatemala is (well was...) celebrating its 16th aniversary.  Normally there's a big three day celebration in November, but this year it was a big one day event in October due to all the financial issues.  But it still was a lot of fun.

Four hours a day for a week we practiced our dances and cheers that we would perform with our aniversary groups.  Everyone was all mixed up - kids of every age and employees from every department.  It was chaotic, a little crazy, but definitely fun.  Here we are in our costumes - my group's theme/dance was salsa. mmmm

                                                And here's my group on anniversary day

In the morning we played a bunch of games led by the teachers such as obstacle courses, riddles, and tug of war.  It was a lot of fun.  Then in the afternoon all the groups performed their dances and the winners got prizes like lunch at McDonalds or a day at the pool.  The whole day was pretty fun and a good way to spend time with the kids, especially ones I didn't know too well.

Then in mid October I had some friends come and visit and that was a lot of fun.  We went to Lake Atitlan, Antigua, and Semuc Champey. Here's some pics of the latter.


It was so great having them here.  And my mom comes to visit me in ONE WEEK!!!! I haven't seen her or hugged her for over 10 months.  I'm excited :)

Then acouple days after my friends headed back to the states, it was halloween and day of the dead.  I really like the traditions here a lot.  On November 1st and 2nd everyone goes to the cementaries and has a big barbeque.  There's tons of food and families and everyone having a good time.  I like how the atmosphere is happy and light-hearted instead of solemn and serious.  Its a nice way to remembered loved ones who've passed I think.  A really important part of the celebration is the kites.  I think they symbolize spirits and soaring up to heaven or something like that.  A bunch of kids make their own and others too to sell or compete in the big kite contest.  They make them out of tissue paper and its amazing.
We went to Santiago - a town famous for this day and their kites.  They were HUGE and very detailed, telling stories of Guatemalan history and ancestors.

Incredibly detailed right?

So yeah, that was fun :)

And now - I'm somehow so ready for Christmas.  I crave the music, the movies, the cookies.  I never thought that I would miss winter so much too.  I'm anticipating seeing pictures of Chicago snow soon :(
But I'm watching my first of many Christmas movies this evening and hopefully this will help me somehow get through the eternal springtime that is Guatemala.  gosh, my life is hard

well - hope you all at home enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving and all that stuff that comes this time of year.  I'm sure to spend a very different, but very memorable holiday season here in San Andres Itzapa.

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