Sunday, November 30, 2008

15th Birthday party, Christmas celebration, and a talent show!

Tonight was an important night at Casa Shalom! We had three celebrations - the first was the quincienera celebration for Florentina and Enma. A quincienera is a 15th-birthday celebration and is similar to a sweet-sixteen party, but a much more important custom in Latin America. The party signifies a girl's transition from childhood into womanhood. Flora and Enma both turned 15 during this past year but were never given parties by the previous director - Director Jorge Mario wanted to make this up to them and in photo 1, he plays the traditional role of the father escorting his daughter to her party.

Our second celebration was a Christmas party. We had a traditional dinner of tamales, and lit Christmas lights on the "tree house tree" on Shalom's property. Photo 2 shows the lights and in photo 3, Vinicio and Alejandro pose in front of the tree, all dressed up for the big occasion. Part of the Christmas celebration was a fireworks show! Many of the kids had never seen fireworks and were in awe of the show, which was donated by a local man who owns a fireworks company. In photos 4 and 5, Jose Ramiro and Ana and Jose Marcelino and Antonio watch the fireworks! The last portion of the celebration was a talent show - both kids and staff participated in everything from instrumental performances to singing to dramas to poetry recitations. In video 1, house dad Josue shows off his great guitar skills. In video 2, Edwin and Cesar show off their soccer tricks. Video 3 shows part of the fireworks show and video 4 is of Enma and Florentina during their special ceremony.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Food Aid

A few weeks ago, we mentioned a nearby town called San Jose where there is an extreme famine. 3 children have recently died of starvation and we were looking for ways to take action. We were blessed to receive donations of over $1,700 to purchase food for this town. We recently went to Club Co, Guatemala´s version of Sam´s Club and purchased carts and carts of beans, rice, sugar, oatmeal, and salt. Please keep us in prayer as we travel to to San Jose tomorrow to distribute the food to these needy people.

Photo 1: Josh poses with Marco Tulio (right), the businessman who is sponsoring the project to help get San Jose back on its feet, and Edgar, his future son in law. Photo 2: Jessica pushes a cart full of Incapairina, a popular nutrition drink. Photo 3: Josh with another cartful of Incapairina. Photo 4: A cart full of beans, sugar and salt.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vacation Bible School water day

As promised, here are the photos and video from Casa Shalom´s Vacation Bible School water day! Enjoy them! Photo 1: Elia´s war paint is from a flour from a game where the kids had to dunk for objects in flour water Photo 2: In the "Shower game" the kids had to pass a water- filled bucket with holes over their heads. Max and Vinicio didn´t appreciate the cold bath. Photo 3: More kids in the shower game Photo 4: Carlos is drenched by the "shower" Photo 5: The most popular game was the mud pit -Alejandro, Edgar, Jenny and Hector do the army crawl! Photo 6: Edgar is one happy, dirty kid - Evelyn is equally dirty but less happy. Photo 7: Sonia didn´t hesitate one bit to crawl through the mud, as evidenced by her clothes. Photo 8: I feel bad for the washing machine when Karen´s clothes go through Photo 9: Julio, Alex and Alfonso post-mud pit Photo 10: Karen and Maria play shave-the-baloon Photo 11: Eddy Photo 12: Jose Marcelino is one dirty toddler! Photo 13: Santos is really excited to be clean Photo 14: Soapy hair! Photo 15: Josh the barber makes a soap beard Photo 16: Guatemalan slip-and-slide!
Video 1: The kids had water balloon fight with bags full of kool aid! Video 2: Water slide!

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