Mujeres de San Cristobal Norte for the Independence Day Game
For Independence Day our soccer team was invited to play at the school as one of the community activities. We played 5 v 5 until a storm had everyone slipping and the Director called it off. Despite the rain it was a big success- our next soccer practice had over 20 women on the run-down synthetic field.
September 15 is celebrated in a variety of ways. San Cristobal Norte had a parade, a bingo and various games to mark the 189 years of Independence. Since Independence Day the celebrations have continued as Saturday marked my 24th Birthday, and quite possibly one of my best birthdays of all time. This is probably because my birthday included not one, not two but three birthday cakes. And perhaps a fourth at the end of this week…
I returned from spending the morning with my training host family, and passing by the Ferria of Asseri where I could once be found selling eggs, to party hop. The first birthday party was roasting marshmallows, cake, a beautiful sign and lots of chips and beans and rice…I was rushed from party #1 to party #2 where a group of our group of jovenes serenaded me and my "cousin" Karen. We had a bar-b-que (my host mom bar-b-qued pineapple, bell peppers and onion for me while everyone else enjoyed a recently killed pig), danced and ate MORE cake.
Birthday girls with the band at party #2.
Sunday was the election of the ADI or development association's board of directors. I was excited because 52 of the youth from the youth group I have been working with participated, and three were elected to the new junta. I got a chance to read results, count votes and give a quick pitch of the document I have put together with profiles of all the different community groups etc.
And Monday brought birthday cake #3 at SACRIN, the ECC that makes small loans to the community members (and where I spend most of my time).
Doña Mayela, Emilice and Birthday cake #3
The exercise group continues, although rain has the numbers down. But this week we had one free-style song where the group taught me a dance. I have also continued teaching Yoga to the senior citizens, and Friday they invited me along to a competition against 11 other adultos mayores groups for "the queen" of the senior citizens- Doña Blanca who threw me Birthday party #1 was the reina.
A few weeks ago I ran the Tamarindo half-marathon with some other Peace Corps Volunteers, and my host dad claims he caught me on the news waving… This coming week we have AVC, or All Volunteer Conference, where we will get the chance to meet all the volunteers in country, share stories and learn new things.