Monday, August 22, 2005

Venezuela - Carnival

I have more pictures of the carnival than I know what to do with - and all of them good. What you see here barely scratches the surface. While it seems like a small thing to speak of..."We got to play with the kids"...the interaction we had with the people, young and old, in such a light setting was quite profound. I'll sum up some of the activities we had for the kids and relate a few of the stories.

For the carnival, the ITAM staff would set up a sound system for playing music and making announcements. The music was Contemporary Latin Gospel, and the Venezuelans like it loud. We would set up soccer goals for playing "futbol" and there was no shortage of youth who wanted to play. For younger kids, we had a choice of a baseball toss, US football toss, frisbee toss or soccerball kick. For these, we had simple metal frames across which painted canvasses with netted holes in the right places served as goals. The kids would line up and try to hit the goal for candy. (They liked the gum, but didn't chew it for long. They would spit it out onto the ground... I learned that gum melts and disappears completely if it's hot enough.)

There was also the face painting, nail polishing and hair braiding. The younger boys liked the face painting, but only the girls went for the hair and nail treatment. We also had fun with the balloons by forming animals, hats and Christian symbols. We handed out a few bandanas and hats. We would also form up some miscellaneous games. They weren't familiar with volleyball so we invented a hackeysack-like game with a volleyball (or was it a small soccer ball?) and tought them some of the basics. They were inventive and liked to add some soccer moves in conjunction with the volleyball moves.

There were some great personal items. Ed Yarbrough brough his puppet, Baggie D. Bear, and Brian Andrews brought his juggling balls. Also, a few of the youth that went with us dressed as clowns. In years past, we had stilts, but this year we didn't break them out.

The lady here is praying to accept Christ at the carnival, Saturday, July 2.

Next, I'll tell some carnival stories.

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