Graduation Day!

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Friday was a totally unexpected fun-filled day for us all …. volunteers, Tias, the children, their siblings and parents alike! Ecuadorians love a good party and what better excuse than ‘graduation day’ for the five year olds moving up to kindergarten in the fall! We worked all week on the completion and decorating of the booklets showcasing the children’s work over the year. Friday morning was spent decorating the walls with paper flower garlands and a blue and white balloon archway for the grads to walk through! The staff cleaned and scrubbed the center spotless! … we helped set up rows of chairs and by 2 pm, the place was buzzing!! … the children were dressed to the nines in their Sunday best, the parents much the same … not sure if many of the children’s dads were there, (most are single moms at the center) but a male presence certainly was … grandpas and uncles perhaps … it was a lovely spectacle of celebration … a photographer was hired and took pictures of the children, wearing red capes and hats, receiving their ‘diplomas’ from their various Tias … red and white must have been the colours of the day, as all the Tias wore white pants with red tops for the occasion as well … rather sweet. Ecuadorians are quite conscious of appearances, and good grooming, clean tidy clothes are the norm, regardless of economic status !! ….. the only sloppiness came from the volunteers, as we were all dressed in our work clothes, not fully aware how big an event this day was going to be when we left our hotel in the morning. We helped serve cake and juice after the ceremony and joined in, dancing with the kids, the Tias, each other! …. we topped the day further by enjoying an awesome dinner at Hermosa Rooftop Restaurant in old town … complete with that stunning ambiance of cathedrals and twinkling lights surrounding us. My second time there and hopefully not my last before I fly home … I could sit there absorbing that view time and time again!! Another great day and week in Ecuador!

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