End of Week One!

Message for the Day: If the roots are not removed during weeding, the weeds will grow again when the winds of spring blow . -Chinese proverb

Today is a special day for several reasons:

It marks the end of the program for Dean and Sherri. For the rest of us it marks the halfway point of the program. It is also to be a day of celebration at Center #2. It is also the day of our masapan demonstration.

Breakfast is the usual fare, but is lacking fruit other than bananas. The group seems healthy and in good spirits on this Friday. We arrive at Center #1 and Sherri, Susan, and Kristina go off to attend to the children while Jessica, Dean, and I head to Center #2. While Jessica and Dean work with the children, I resume work on the painting shelves project.

At 11 a.m. everyone assembles in the great room at Center #2. The children are all seated in their chairs on one side of the room while the volunteers and some of the FUNDAC ladies sat on the opposite side. The 4- and 5-year-olds first performed a song and accompanying dance followed by the 3- and 4-year-olds. Lastly, the younger children sang. All were very cute, although many of the children did not quite get it. Sherri and Dean were presented cards and masapan figures along with appreciations by the FUNDAC women. Then the dancing and real fun began with first some individual traditional dances followed by a flamboyant lady who danced with Dean and me. It was exuberant, great fun. At the end of it, I was exhausted, but had had so much fun. A woman appears with a mask and then all the volunteers join the two dancers in a square-dance-like dance as we circle and swing round. Everyone is having such a great time. It ends with the volunteers doing a rousing version of “Old MacDonald” to the amusement of the kids.

We then got to the masapan shop for a demonstration of masapan making by the owner. She makes the intricate creations almost like magic. Seems like everyone makes some purchases as this is a local craft, the lady is associated with FUNDAC, and they make inexpensive gifts to take home. Kristina, Susan, and Sherri return to Center #1 while Dean, Jessica, and I return to our work at Center #2. The day ends quickly. Dean and Sherri are now sadly gone and our group shrinks in size from six to four. At supper it seems sad that we only have four place settings. For dinner we are served delicious fish with French fries, salad, and rice. For dessert the unusual tree tomato, which is served in a syrup. Looking these up on the Internet, they seem unrelated to anything and are served in a variety of ways.

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