Thursday, February 25, 2010

Birthday Party

I can now say that i have been to a "sakeji birthday party'. so what? you may ask. well, unless you have been to sakeji, it is hard to describe the birthday parties. as we can not celebrate each individual child's birthday, once a term we celebrate everyone's birthday that took place (or will take place) during that term. th ere is always a theme involved, and the party is planned for weeks in advance. in art class the students will make the decorations to go with the party theme. often in music class they will learn a special song for the 'show', anyone available from the mission stations in the vicinity come to help decorate the birthday cakes. when the day arrives, (yesterday) there is much anticipation in the air. all the children can talk about is 'birthday party!', i quickly discovered it was completely useless to try and teach new math concepts to students who's brains could only concentrate on what was going to happen at supper time. the grade ones were rather cute as they were super excited, but really had no idea of what was to come. our theme this year was 'traditional birthday', which i admit i thought was rather lame but it worked out ok in the end. usually one of the new (or visiting) staff get stuck being the MC for the evening. it nearly fell to me, but then 2 new staff members came and so i got away with it... this time. :) so what exactly happens at birthday party. well, at 5 o'clock (instead of 5:30) the bell rings for supper. by this time the children will have all bathed and dressed in their best clothes with their hair all done nicely etc. the staff however, are dressed in costumes to go with the theme. (this brought back many memories of 'counselor dress-up' nights at camp!) it was hard to think of a costume to where when the theme was 'traditional party', what exactly is "Traditional"? the parties my mom threw for us were all themed parties, that would be 'traditional' for me. i asked one of the more senior staff how we were expected to dress. she told me to wear something nice that the children hadn't seen before... hmmm... with my limited wardrobe there wasn't much they hadn't seen. and there were reasons they hadn't seen me where those clothes. but then i tho't of a plan! i thought back to my friends (from "normal" families) and the parties they had had and got the idea to dress as if i was going to a 'slumber party'. this was somewhat common when i was growing up. i convinced Lina to do the same, that way i wouldn't be the only one who got into trouble for wearing my pj's to the dining room! ;) we put our hair into pig-tails and drew freckles on our faces, put on our pj's, grabbed our teddy bears and headed to the dining hall. the children were quite surprised to see us dressed in our pj's but were quickly distraced by the number of clowns running around! a few of the staff members were quite creative and came as candles. where we were allowed to enter the dining room it was transformed into a wonderful party place. beautiful handmade decorations, balloons and crepe ribbons hung everywhere. the tables had been joined together to form long tables, decorated with tablecloths, fancy party napkins, party hats, and a party cracker for each child. in the center of each table were the awesome cakes;everything from a bubble gum machine to an airport. we had fish and chips for our meal. after supper those who had a birthday had to stand on their chairs while we sang happy birthday to them. then we had cake and (homemade sakeji) icecream! the children had to have a piece of cake from their table then they were allowed to have a 2nd piece of cake from one of the other table. basically they were all on major sugar highs! after we were all stuffed on cake, the children were sent out of the dining hall while the tables were cleaned off and pushed against the wall. then we all gathered back in and watched 'the show' which consists of songs and skits written and preformed by the senior students, with games in between (eg. pin the tail on the donkey). again it reminded me very much of the 'skit night and talent show' at camp! i videotaped most of it, but some of it was rather repetitive and my battery was starting to run low, so i missed some of the games. it seemed like a very looong night, but when we were leaving i was surprised to find it was only 7:30! i have to admit that this theme turned out slightly better then i had thought, but i can't wait till next term.... we've already discussed the theme and it sounds so much more exciting! i won't tell you what it is just yet... you'll have to wait till next term, just like the children ;)

oh, just a quick prayer request. my housemate Lina just found out today that her grandfather who has cancer has been 'given' about 3-5 months to live. please pray for Lina and her family at this time and also for her grandfather, miracles can still happen! :)

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