El Mes de Chavalos

>> Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have discovered by now that the schools don't really need an excuse to not have class--the election, Mother's Day, it looks like it might rain, etc.--so it wasn't much of a surprise when I heard that there's no class on Teacher's Day. This is a really special day for the teachers in Nicaragua, so special that they changed the schedule and moved back the vacation so they could have school on El Día de Maestros. I think this is pretty cool, but it also comes within the context that the entire month of June is children's month. When I asked some kids about it I said, "So there's one day for mothers, one day for fathers, and one day for teachers. How many days do kids get?" 30 days, that's how many.

When I was a kid and would ask why there's a mother's day and a father's day but not a children's day, I would always get the answer that every other day of the year is children's day. I didn't really have the gall to ask why there wasn't a children's month. Maybe there is and no one thought to ask. For an entire month whenever something exciting is happening, the reason is invariably that it's for children's day/week/month. The children's holidays don't really seem to be strictly regularized, so they get to celebrate them over and over again because different groups recognize different days.

The result is that every other day they get to eat cake. Lots and lots of cake. Holly's host sister made cake for almost all the kids in the town. She used 48 eggs, 4 dozen oranges, and a truckload of sugar, flour and margarine.

This is the (very impressive) array of cakes:
The kids that I have seen have been constantly chewing on caramellos or cake, missing class for an assembly, or just skipping school altogether in the name of children's month. I don't really forsee that the lack of excuses will really deter people from doing the exact same things, but I'll be curious to see how just long festivities continue because it's the 1- or 3-month anniversary of children's day. Meh, that's probably not needed... there's always El día de Maestros or Father's Day on the horizon to keep kids celebrating and out of school.

Bonus, unrelated photos:

This is the saddest picture I've taken. Partly because it's out of focus, but also because Nicole dropped her Eskimo (that's es-kee-mo) and that's a tragedy:
I promise that we do things other than eat Eskimo, but it's a really good way to forget that it's stupid hot:
Holly and I got some cookie mix in a package. After buying a single stick of butter and realizing that there is no such thing as 375 degrees farenheit on Nicaraguan ovens, we actually got some decent cookies:
Finally, doing laundry is so much less fun here (not that it was ever fun in the US):


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