Leti in her fantasy dress. Everyone went "wow"!
Finally there is some free time to breathe and write again! Last week was crazy because we had full force of events for NPH Peru´s sixth anniversary. We started off with a sports day on Wednesday which the kids were playing football, volleyball and some other sport activities like hula hoops and jumping. Thursday we had a talent show, where various kids performed gags like reciting poetry, telling jokes, singing, etc. Also, there was a recycled craft competition which various kids of different age groups participated and created arts and crafts such as a hat made by weaved newspapers, a paper helicopter with wires that can be operated by an AA battery, a house with garden and paintings made by actual leaves, flowers and paper and a piggy bank made by newspapers. I was invited to be one of the judges, and it was really tough as a lot of pieces were worth a prize. My favorite was, though, the battery operated paper helicopter created by Elvis. It was really cool, and it showed that he has a really good sense of science. I mean, I could have never done that!
Friday was kind of a big day for me, as it was the election and coronation of Miss NPH Perú 2010. It was kind of weird to me at first, but at the same time I quite like the idea as it can boost confidence, give opportunities to be creative and work as a team. Indeed, pageants are a real deal in Latin America. As a pageant guru, it was definitely my gag! And the system was actually quite fun, as there were five candidates, and each was guided and supported by a tío and a group of kids which defined as a team. Therefore, it´s not just the girls competing, but rather the whole house was participating. As soon as I came back from my holiday in Colombia, Tío Roger asked me if I could teach his candidate, Ayita, to catwalk. Also, Tía Flor asked me for help with the fantasy dress for her candidate. Leticia, one of my favorite girls in the house, was also competing, so I helped her with her modeling, her evening gown and fantasy dress as well. I also taught another candidate, Rosa, to model. The biggest project was the dresses. Leticia has a purple cocktail dress, but it wasn´t glamorous enough to be an evening gown. So I spent my free weekend shopping for fabric and other items to modify the dress. I added a fish tail with train and some details with beads on the dress. It turned out really amazing and it looked very elegant on her. The fantasy dress was another challenge, as I had to make it all from scratch. Fortunately Tío John agreed to help and so we both worked really hard on it for a few days. It turned out to be really amazing, and we were hoping that it would make Leti shine on stage. The night before the pageant, Tía Berta, Leticia´s team leader, and I finished hemming the dress together. It was a really nice time even though we worked for a long time, as she and I talked and shared our thoughts and experiences. We also talked about our mothers, and I realized that her mother also passed away. We kind of got a bit emotional, but it was really nice to get to know her a bit better.
The final started in the afternoon, and everyone was cheering their candidates while the girls and some of their team members got busy getting them dressed and groomed. There were some funny moments like during the opening some of the candidates were chewing gums while dancing, or some girls adjusted their dresses in front of the judges. When Leti put on her new age butterfly costume, everyone was amazed and gasped as it looked amazing on her. Our house doctor, who came to work just about a month ago and don´t know the kids all that well yet, asked for a photo with Leti after she finished her walk. It was evening gown time, the gown worked magnificently on her. The satin fish tail with train flowed and flew while she walked, and she looked so elegant. The doctor whispered, "She is the queen." Although I wanted Leti to win, I wasn´t sure how the result would turn out as other girls performed quite well as well. Ayita walked amazingly in the sportswear round and everyone gave her huge applause. Anita had a team that was the loudest and made most effort to cheer her on. She also performed well in talent. Rosa was very poise and collected. The verdict finally came. Second runner-up was Rosa, first runner-up was Anita, and Miss NPH Peru 2010 was Leticia! I was so pleased as she really carried the dresses well, and she won over the hearts of the judges.
Saturday was our main celebration as the kids didn´t have to go to school. We played a lot of fun games like walking through a plastic sheet full of soap and bubbles, obstacle courses, picked up an apple from a bucket full of water, jumping, etc. I was holding Julio´s hand when playing the soapy run, and he had so much fun although he kept slipping and falling. Samanta was in my team as well, and she loved playing so much although she was really wobbly at times. I had a lot of fun too with the kids. Although we lost at the end, the most important is that we had fun and it was a good reunion for the whole family. For lunch, we had pachamanca, which is cooking everything with heated rocks in a hole dug in the ground. It was a feast! We had meat, corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes. For dessert, we had banana float. Everyone was so full, but happy. We finished the evening with a few performances such as modeling knitwear knitted by the kids or the tías, dances and presentation of prizes for the events in the past few days. Dinner was a cup of light oatmeal, as everyone was still quite full. We then had a bonfire and we roasted marshmallows together while we had dance music on, and Franklin and I were dancing until we were tired and ready to rest after a long but fun day.