I would like to share with you what you and your congregation helped to make happen with the Christmas Party in Pijal Centro. Thanks again for your part in sharing the joy of Christmas in the community of Pijal Central, Imbabura, Ecuador.
Sumac Wasi, the pre-school you helped build this last summer, was full of joy, full of preschoolers and their mothers and grandmothers and siblings and even some fathers, full of Christmas cheer. You painted the walls in pastels, a local artist has added cartoon designs, and the teachers truly care about their charges.
FEDICE brought beautiful wrapped presents and a bag of sweets for each preschooler and their teachers. But before we get to that, have you ever noticed that the folks in Ecuador know how to throw a party? This was no exception.
Yes, the school is lovely, but still lacks an appropriate floor and doors to the building and rooms. Now, pieces of plywood suffice to keep people and animals out when the building is not in use. And the concrete floor is better than dirt or mud (on rainy days) but, oh for a tile floor that can be kept cleaner. After introductions of Blanca, Sebastian, Luis, me, the Godmother of the school (Encarnacion), and several other important people involved with the school, the first presentation was a gift of money from FEDICE to complete the floor and to add the doors. You all helped make this happen with your love and involvement in this place. You helped inspire another church and individuals to make a gift to FEDICE that has been passed on to the pre-school.
OK, so that was something the parents could really appreciate, but how about the children? We sang a Christmas song, we danced, and we played funny games. Can you imagine a blindfolded Blanca, FEDICE’s executive director, trying to put yogurt into a local woman’s mouth at the same time the local, blindfolded woman tried to get yogurt into Blanca’s mouth? The whole room was not covered in yogurt, but you can imagine that two faces were covered.
Maybe you are familiar with the song something akin to: Hands out (Hands out); thumbs up (thumbs up); head back (head back); shoulders up (shoulders up); legs bent (legs bent); seat out (seat out): tongue out (tongue out); turn around. Imagine what a group of adults look like in this position dancing to the beat of the music.
The children played musical chairs, some of the mothers had a relay race carrying water in their hands to see who could fill up a coke bottle with water first. As you might imagine, the room was filled with laughter and cheering for the participants.
After the fun, FEDICE gave your Christmas gifts and sweets to the preschoolers. And the community passed out sweets to the older children present. But one of the best surprises was the line-up of the grandmothers, each given a bag of sweets thanks to you. How often do we forget to celebrate the wise and aged who did so much for us in the past?
After all of this, food was shared: a plate filled with potatoes, corn on the cob, a piece of chicken and a thin pork chop. It was almost too much for one person to eat, but they did eat and enjoy the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and the joy and love of their children.
You guys are great! Thanks so much for helping to make it all happen. And maybe next time, you all can come and enjoy the celebration too.