Bowling in Bolivia

Every 5th grader's dream.  A bowling alley filled with shouts of happy kids, tons of balloons, and beautiful cakes.  The thing to do if you are a middle/upper class kid in Bolivia is to rent out part of Santa Cruz's one bowling alley on a Saturday morning for your birthday. 

There are bumpers, so we all did very well.  This is Benji, by the way.
I had a blast at Jose Daniel's birthday party yesterday.  13 of my 19 students were there, and I got to hang out with them, chat with some parents, and bowl!

One of the highlights of the party for me was seeing my kids all hanging out together.  I have been praying for unity for them, and was especially praying for it on Saturday morning.  I heard lots of encouraging things come out of their mouths, which made me so happy!
The four girls who REPRESENTED!  Graciela, Noelia, Natalia, Jasmine
I wish I could describe what the experience was like.  My birthday party in 5th grade was way different from this one.  For one thing, I had about 6 friends over instead of 30.  At the bowling party, all the kids were dressed in the A&F, Hollister, and AE best, talking on their cell phones.  Eau Claire didn't have any of those stores when I was in 5th grade, and cell phones were giant things that we saw on spy movies.  I felt old.  At the same time, all the parents asked me how old I was, and the looks on their faces after I told them made me feel young. 

I loved seeing how family-oriented this culture is.  Jose Daniel's aunts, uncles, and grandparents attended, and they loved talking him up a little.  It was expected that when parents came to pick up their kids they would take part in the festivities.  My heart was warmed to see this, and it makes me pray even more that these kids would experience stable family lives, not just close ones. 

Well, those are my thoughts from the party.  The pictures will have to say the rest.

Bowling shoes are SO much cooler in Bolivia!

Futbol birthday cake
The birthday boy with his teacher.

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