There are a lot of fun things that are planned for the kids on the ranch: excursions, games, various activities on the weekends and other such things. Birthdays aren’t usually celebrated on the day of, but as a group at the end of the month, when all of the kids go into the city for the day, receive a little money, get something they want, and gorge on pizza (at Pizza Hut, no less. It’s a really big deal around here).
Because Casa Suyapa (remember, that’s my hogar!) houses the younger kids, they don’t get to go into the city, so they do their own thing every couple of months. It’s a pretty big deal! The tias and tios are up early preparing food all day, streamers and balloons are hung, and cakes are made. Usually, at dinner we all sit on the floor in a circle, but for the birthday bash the tables and chairs are brought out. I was looking forward to going and seeing what it was all about. We did a lot of eating and dancing! And, the kids had a blast!
Roberto taking a swing at the piñata
This is what happens when the kids go for the candy! MAYHEM!
The amazing enchiladas!
All the kids ready to eat, and some decorations.
Yohan and me
Yohan, Me and Yafet
It’s not a requirement for the volunteers to do something for birthdays, but we usually do. I was thinking about what I wanted to do before I even left the States, which is just silly because I had no idea what hogar I would be with and all of that. But, once I found out I was with the little boys, I was a little stumped. Things run a little differently in Casa Suyapa than the rest of the hogares, which made me a little unsure of what to do. Some volunteers bake a cake for every birthday or give a card or something of the sort. Doing a cake was out of the question, so I settled on a homemade card and a little goodie bag. I only have twelve boys, so I have already made them and will make their card when the time comes closer. I think I will actually get more boys throughout the year, as the ranch is always getting new kids. I gave my first one to Angel, and he seemed to like it. He was very discreet about putting his bag in his locker, under his pants, right away so no other little boy would take it!
Just a little something, and yes, there are silly bands in there.
Another fun thing for the kids is Proyecto Familiar (family project), where the kids who have siblings on the ranch are able to share a meal and spend time together. There is always so much going on, that the siblings really don't see each other that often, sadly. A volunteer from years ago saw a need, developed a program and it has now spread to all of the NPH homes. The evening looks a little different at each home, but all has the same purpose. Here in Honduras, we have the kids come to the volunteer house where we make dinner, usually baleadas (traditional Honduran meal) or pizza. It’s really a fun time, and the kids look forward to it (once they know when there time is, and know you, they will constantly ask you about it). Because there are so many families, proyecto only happens for them once, maybe, twice a year, so it really is a special time. And, it’s a good time for the volunteers to spend some extra time with their kids, and get to know others they normally wouldn't have the chance to.
This was after my first proyecto where one of the girls braided my hair. I was excited about it!
And the awesomeness of after the braids.
Another proyecto with the boys and DeeDee, another volunteer. We made baleadas!
These next pictures are courtesy of Hunter:
Jorge and Aldo holding our AMAZING pizzas
We were very pleased with them. :)
Khati, Aldo, Me, Jorge, Manuel and Hunter