It was Bianca’s birthday on Monday (Happy Birthday!) and we had a party at the dorm. Maura cooked up some fried trout, choclo (big corn), chicken noodle soup and salad. Yum! Shiva, our all-star volunteer and art teacher from earlier in the year, returned to Ollanta from her travels in time to make a chocolate cake. Double yum! The girls were super excited. When I arrived, they were busy converting Yesica and Nohemi’s room into a party den, complete with balloons and toilet paper taper.
It looked great. After blowing out the candles they pushed Bianca’s head into the cake, a Peruvian tradition. This turned into an all out food fight, not a Peruvian tradition. There was chocolate everywhere. Clothes got dirty, but there were no casualties.
After dinner we danced Huayno. It’s a traditional Andean dance in which you hold hands in a circle and stomp the ground as hard and as fast as possible. Fun was had by all. I’m proud to report that none of our girls are wallflowers.
I can sense the end of the year approaching. Our next party will be with the families, a celebration of our first year of existence. I remember our first party. Everything was so new. Some of the girls were meeting each other for the first time. We told them that this strange building would become a home – and it has. Watching this community grow this past year and having the chance to be a part of it, has been a pleasure. This next party will be better than the first. This time, it will be full of friends and people I truly care for and love. I can’t wait!