Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day, and actually take pride in the fact that I have not had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day since middle school, which hardly counts. At any rate, we did celebrate at school, which meant I had to take part in the festivities. It turned out to be a lot of fun.
On Friday, we all drew names within each class to get a gift of chocolate for that person. I got Gissel. On Saturday, I was able to go to the grocery store, so I found some Valentine's Day boxes with Princesses on them and chocolates inside. I got one of these for Gissel, and found another with Cars on it that I bought for Fabian. Zudy had him, but had been absent on Friday, and I was worried that she wouldn't be there on Monday to be told she had to get him a gift. Although she was there on Monday, she told me something about not being able to buy a gift, but I'm not sure exactly what.
So, yesterday, I brought both gifts and kept them tucked in my bag. Although I fully believe it would have been a mistake to have the party first thing in the day, it may have been just as difficult to have it at the end of the day. I feel like I spent the entire day giving a countdown of how long we had until the party and taking gifts away from kids. They kept trying to give their gifts to their "amigo secreta," all day.
When Zudy got there in the morning, she had no gift for Fabian. The other kids found out and were up in arms about it, so I pulled her out of the class and showed her the gift, writing Fabian's and her name on the box of chocolate.
When the hour finally came, I got them to get into a reasonably orderly line with their gifts in hand. Then, they charged out the door and outside, where there were balloons and tables set up. The rest of the school joined us, and we managed to get them all sitting down. They had a quick lesson about what real love is, and talked about how we should act lovingly towards each other. They then were taught a song about God's love, and it was time for the gift exchange.
At first each kid was asked some questions about their secret friend "Are they handsome? Do you like them?" There were fits of giggles when Emy admitted to liking Dennis and when Zudy claimed that Fabian was not beautiful. After a few of these, they only were asked who their friend was, or else it would have taken all day. When each gift was given, the kids exchanged a hug.
After that, we began handing out frosting colored donuts, either pink or chocolate, and pop. About 15 minutes later, most of the kids were running wildly around the field, as is to be expected after that amount of sugar and excitement.
Overall, it was another fun day with the kids, and I found myself warming up to the idea of Valentine's Day, but it was because it is celebrated a little bit differently here. Here, it is called "La Dia de Amor y Amistad." It's a day of love and friendship. Although the focus is on romantic love, so there were plenty of "te amo" balloons and red roses around, they also focus on friendship and the giving of gifts to people that you really care about.
With plenty of chocolate now waiting in my fridge for me (to keep if from melting) and a new coffee mug from Tammy, I can look back on yesterday as being a wonderful memory.