Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Danger of Pinatas

Yesterday, we celebrated Kid's Day at the school. We had a pinata, and pizza and cake, and let them just play for most of the day. It was a lot of craziness, but the kids had a lot of fun, with the exception of the boy I had to hold back from running in while the other kids were swinging at the pinata, and the little girl who was terrified of the teachers dressed like clowns and the balloons. I hadn't really realized the danger of pinatas before, since all of my experiences were here in the US, where we like them, but don't get as intensely excited about them as they do here. As one kid stood and swung the short wooden pole full force at the colorful pinata, the other kids waiting anxiously at the sides, and would rush in when even a single piece fell. And the kid with the stick was usually still swinging. There was the one little boy that I had to hold back because he kept trying to run in to get the stick, and would have gotten hit several times had I not been keeping him close. And of course, when it finally completely breaks open, there's a rush to the center where a free-for-all fight for candy insues. When you have big 7 year olds mixed with little 3 year olds, it's a wonder that none of them actually got hurt.

We also went to celebrate at Los Bordos. We took a bunch of pinatas there and gifts and had some fun. We did the "Doctor Skit" which I had done and seen a number of times at Wildwood, so I was very excited to participate in that. I now want to introduce them to some more camp skits, because they're so much fun for the kids and the participants. :)

If the pinata at school was dangerous with 30 decently well-behaved kids, it was even worse at Los Bordos with closer to 200 kids that were desperate for the candy and a chance to get a whack at it. Some of the little girls that went up there took these swings where they spun the stick in a full circle for maximum power, and just barely missed hitting the kids that were all crowded around. And then when the candy came out... pure insanity. There were people at about 5 different points that were throwing the candy in handfuls out to the crowd to keep them spread out, but it was still ridiculous.

After that came the handing out of gifts. We had them divided by age and gender, and gave them each a small bag with some toys and necessities in it: soap, a toothbrush, washclothes, flip flops, pencils, crayons, a little notebook, an etch-a-sketch, etc. They lined up in long lines and we marked their hands with Sharpie as they came through, but they were pushing to get to the front, and we had parents demanding gifts for kids that weren't there and cutting in line. I saw a couple of parents trying to wash the marks off their kids so they could get another gift. We finally just had to stop handing out gifts, before pure chaos broke out. It's so sad that people can turn a good thing into something bad. We come to them with generosity, but they ruin it with their greed. It's hard to help people who just want to take what you have, and don't seem at all grateful.

1 comment:

  1. I had the exact same problem when handing out clothing at the migrant camps with my mom. We would stamp their hands, and they would try to rub them off. We even had kids that would run home and change outfits and come back thinking we wouldn't notice. But I have to think what I would do if I lived in poverty...