Two weeks ago we celebrated El Día de Amor y Amistad (Love & Friendship Day) or, as the gringos call it, Valentine’s Day. In El Salvador the focus of this holiday is just as much on demonstrating appreciation for friends as it is a day for romantic love, so each child had to bring a snack and a regalito (little present) to school for class parties and gift exchanges.
The Americans showed their love for the kids by decorating the kitchen…
and making extra special treats – waffles for breakfast…
heart-shaped Rice Krispies treats for snacks and heart-shaped cakes for dessert.
Our patient cook and tías also used a cookie cutter to make heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch!
The Valentine’s Day festivities continued on Friday night when Jodi, Anne and Amanda cooked a delicious lasagna dinner, complete with salad and pan francés sprinkled with garlic salt.
The kids really enjoyed it all!
After eating, the kids participated in a scavenger hunt. The boys, led by Jodi, formed one group, and the girls, led by Anne, another. Both groups began in the kitchen.
The girls’ first clue led them to the roof, and the subsequent nine clues led them down, a floor at a time, until they reached the empty volunteer rooms at the back of the house.
The boys’ clues followed the opposite route, starting downstairs and ending upstairs.
The girls buzzed with intensity from the start. They spread out, combing the roof and terrace for clues. When they found and decoded one, they emitted ear-splitting, high-pitched screams as they tore through the house, searching for the next clue.
The boys were a little slower on the uptake. Not that they weren’t interested; they just struggled a bit when with their first few clues.
While they were standing on the stairs trying to decode their fourth clue,
the girls, located on the level above the boys, discovered their fifth clue and decided their next move was to go down to the little girls’ room. They ran down the stairs, screaming like banshee, almost trampling the stunned boys.
After that the boys, having caught the girls’ contagious energy, started moving faster, and both groups discovered their treasure – bags of candy – at the same time.
A special thanks to Anne and Jodi for creating the scavenger hunt and to Mandy for sending the candy and heart-shaped pan!