Sunday, 6 February 2011

Baby Shower

Having heard much about baby showers, it was great to have friends organise one especially for us. Ed collaborated in some of the organising, but it it was arranged as a total surprise for Sarah which was lovely. We arrived at our friends house to be greeted by balloons and an array of tiny blue packages and bundles. Being in Bolivia we were of course the first to arrive as opposed to the last, but it was nice to be able to greet everybody as they arrived and provided Sarah with her exercise for the evening of needing to get up and greet every new person that arrived.

As each person arrived they were each given a balloon, which contained a tiny figure of a baby which they then had to tie about their waist for the evening. We then played a number of different games which were good fun and a good laugh. The prizes were even little chocolate babies, which somehow seemed very wrong to eat, but the chocolate was particularly nice!

It was such a blessing to us to receive such love and care from our Bolivian friends, who see and accept us as very much a part of their own lives. Thank you one and all.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Alasitas - The festival of abundance

One day towards the end of January lots of new stalls suddenly appeared throughout the city each selling an array of goods, from houses to cars, to passports, money and food, all in miniature sizes. The idea being that people by the miniature versions of what they hope to be blessed with through out the up and coming year.

The origin of these celebrations dates back to the time of the Incas and was originally celebrated in September, just prior to harvest time and was a celebration of the abundance of the fields. Following their conquest of the nation the Spanish for some reason decided to change the date to January. As a response to this the indigenous people then decided to turn the celebration into a mockery of its former significance, and introduced the tradition as it is recognized today with Ekeko - the little God of abundance who is covered with all the miniature versions of all the things desired by the person who owns the statue.

On this day, Alana’s kinder made the most of the availability of the miniature goods and the children spent the morning practicing their skills in buying and selling with the miniature money and each was sent home with a selection of goodies. Alana was very excited with her ‘purchases’.