Just over a week ago, the Center held its annual fundraiser (el Kermess), which raises money for scholarships. In addition to the usual elements of food, used-clothes sale, raffles, face-painting, and cultural show, there was some new excitement this year.
Friday night, we had the first annual bailaton (dance marathon), which is basically like Zumba–follow the dance instructor. It lasted just under 3 hours, with a variety of dance instructors leading the participants in a medley of salsa, merengue, bachata, and pop music. At first, people seemed to be shy to join in, but by the end, people of all ages where working up a sweat and showing their moves. There were three winners who received prizes for completing the dance competition with pizzazz–one a little girl who had amazing stamina and rhythm, one adolescent and one adult.
The laughter and joy in the room was as palpable as the heat. We hope to hold more ‘bailatones’ throughout the year, as the community obviously enjoys an excuse to dance together (and watch others dance!).
Here is a short video of the “Bailaton”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k8vHennpVg&feature=em-upload_owner
Saturday morning started with the early sales of comida tipica (typical Nicaraguan foods), the various activies of raffles and sales, and the newest attention-grabber–a dunk tank.
Samuel, Batahola Volunteer, had the brilliant idea (and luck) of getting hold of likely the only “tanque de agua”–Dunk Tank–in existence in Nicaragua. For a small price*, a pick-up truck and five men came on Friday to set up the hefty equipment.
Of course, Sam was the first volunteer dunkee. But myself, and various other staff members volunteered to take the plunge. I admit I was slightly frightened each time I climbed the metal ladder and sat on the precarious bench…praying that I would drop straight down into the water and not go projecting forward onto the cement!
Luckily, no major injuries were incurred. I believe all those who were dunked have sufficiently proved their loyalty to the Center, in their willingness to risk their lives! (ok, it wasn’t really that dangerous…) Great fun was had, and a good little sum of money was raised for the scholarship program. Anyone else want to show their love of the Center, Dunk Tank-style?
*(the owner of the tank decided later to not charge us anything. Just photos of people in the tank!)
– Andrea K.