Bolivia | Father’s Day

It was Father’s Day here, and we were celebrating on a Saturday at the school. The kids put on a show for us in the music room. All of the fathers were invited but only one showed up. He sat there on that wooden bench looking shy but dapper with his hat with a pink feather in it. Beth had told the volunteer men many times throughout the week: be there, no falta. The kids had mentioned us all by name and looked to us as fathers. When we finally all gathered and sat down, three of the boys of about eight sang a song about what fathers meant to them. Well, that one brought the old lump to the throat. Then came some of the boys and girls creating a human pyramid, which was really funny knowing the cast of characters involved. Next were the dancing couples. The girls with their braided hair and nice skirts and blouses, que linda. The boys dressed in black pants and white shirts. The dance was a traditional one that I have seen before. They act out some of the male female relations with the boys trying to sneak a kiss on the girls’ cheeks and the girls pushing the boys away. They did a good job of it. For the last act, some of the boys from the dormitory came in dressed like women and started dancing with some of the volunteers, very funny. Then some of the kids presented each of the volunteer males with a Father’s Day card that they had made. Florin presented my card to me and gave me a hug and a kiss on each cheek. Some of the crowd went out in the garden to wait for lunch while a group of the chicos and Marylu played music. A base and snare drum accompanied with reed flutes of various sizes. A lot of the kids were sitting around listening, when in came Linda who grabbed me for a dance. I swung her around for a bit, then we grabbed some of the kids holding hands and dancing in a circle. I kept grabbing more of the girls dancing with them in the middle of the circle. They tried acting shy but they loved it. Leave it to Linda to get the party going. A lot of the kids and volunteers were up and dancing by now in circles and in couples, great fun. I was out of breath and went out in the garden. The one father was there sitting in the sun holding the card his daughter gave to him. He held it like a treasure. I could picture the wall in his kitchen at home with the one picture of his wedding the cross of Jesus and now that Father’s Day card.

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