This past Saturday bore witness to the second annual Manna Community Celebration in Rumiloma! Jack spearheaded the planning and execution of a festival on the Plaza Rumiloma, where the central church of Rumiloma is located just a few blocks down from our Centro. For the week prior, we talked up the celebration to everyone we met who it seemed likely might come: in our library, our classes, even on our beloved Capelo bus route between Sangolquí and Rumiloma. Following Ecuadorian cues of advertising, Jack and I both on multiple occasions stood up and made announcements and handed out fliers for the festival. Nerve racking at first, it ended up being a huge rush.
And must have been successful! Between 150 and 200 people turned up for the celebration that Saturday, children and adults alike. With Jack emceeing on the DJ’s microphone, we led activities all afternoon, from a water balloon toss to tug of war to an organized game of fútbol. Folks also bought raffle tickets throughout the afternoon, the prizes for which were a brand new chess set just donated over Christmas, coloring books and new crayons, Manna t-shirts, and Manna water bottles.
|Brock leads a game of Tug-of-War, or Juego de Cabo.
|Hannah and Damian, who requested his face be painted like KISS.
|Luke is the goose in Duck Duck Goose!
|Becky and Ashley lead a Tae Bo class with kids on the lawn.
|Aiming to catch the water balloon before it breaks on the concrete!
In addition to the activities we’d planned, several of our partner organizations actively participated in the afternoon’s events. Christian and Laura from our agriculture partner, Fundación Añamisi, ran a very successful booth giving out information and selling items from their recently opened small business selling quinoa products. The Red Cross of Sangolquí sent more than a dozen volunteers to man an information booth and carry out first aid demonstrations in their ambulance, as well as to run face painting. (As it turned out, the ambulance was put to practical use as well when a girl fell and got a nose bleed and Ashley rolled her ankle when she skipped into a divot.) Juan Carlos, the sixth grade teacher with whom we work in the nutrition program at Fundación Aliñambi, even brought and managed a bounce house shaped like a whale.
The afternoon was overall a huge success. Not only did we have regular library attendees present but also a great many new faces interested in learning about Manna and participating as a community in this celebration. ¡Viva Rumiloma!
|Face painting with the Cruz Roja.
|Jack with two of his fellow face paintees.
|A whale of a moon bounce