Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 4 - Family Festival - Saturday

Saturday was the Family Festival in Los Cipreses. Basically, it was a fun way for us to spend time with the community and a good way to bring them together as a group and with the FH staff.

The morning involved some crazy, crazy games. The games themselves were crazy enough and the fact that we played them on the side of a cliff made us all a little nervous. I'm pretty sure every game we played has been banned in US gym classes---dodge ball, poison, potato sack races. Poison was especially painful. It involved putting a rope in a circle in the middle and everyone holding hands around it. You pulled each other until someone lost their grip and broke the chain or stepped into the circle in the center. I ended up being one of the last ones in there which meant I was being pulled in multiple directions by the men on our team. Needless to say, my shoulders and arms were very sore the next day.

Somehow, I got all the pre-teen boys on my team. They were a bunch of little cheaters but they seemed to enjoy themselves. This picture shows them declaring they won the relay race when at least 2 more boys still had to go. Oh, well.

After some organized games, we broke into 3 groups: crafts, volleyball, and soccer. Jenna wanted to play volleyball so I volunteered to run around and take pictures. Little did I know, the soccer field was on the other side of the mountain. It was fun to watch them play soccer. One side was a rock wall and the other side was a cliff. Yoda was never the one to kick it over the cliff but he was always the first one to run down and get the ball. The kids were pretty good at keeping the ball on the side of the mountain.

After lunch, some clowns came to put on a show. They were actually pretty good and the kids loved it. They were definitely into audience participation---both from the kids and from our team. Six members of the team were chosen to dress up like chickens and dance for one of the skits. I'm still thankful I was not one of the ones chosen!

After the clowns, we had a chance to sit down and talk with the leader-mothers from the community. I shared a little bit about my family experience and how I feel that acceptance by the family, church, and community is the most important thing you can offer the family of a child with special needs. We then facilitate a conversation with the mothers about what they can do to help the families in their community that feel so isolated because of their special children. It was a great conversation and I really think they understood how they can reach out to these families without needing a lot of training or experience or money.

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