How awesome is this? I just received a lengthy email from my girl Mariel, who is Peace Corpsing it up in the Dominican Republic. Naturally, this photo went straight to my heart. It's a costume to celebrate Carnival/Easter week the Haitian/Dominican way: dressing up in colorful handmade costumes and cracking whips while asking people for money. Oh, and playing traditional Gaga music with long trumpets (I guess it's called Rara in Haiti but has been imported to the DR where they call it Gaga). This caused me to wonder a bit, because I remember Fasching (also Easter week celebration) in Germany where people dressed up in intricate, raggedy-looking costumes (but with carefuly constructed, hand-painted masks), paraded about and children cracked whips. I also recall paraders tossing little bottles of liquor out to the crowd, at which point drunken adults would shove small children groping for candy aside to retrieve them. Anyway, my question is: what do fabulous monster costumes and whips have to do with celebrating Easter/Spring? At this point, it makes just about as much sense as a magical bunny hiding foil-covered chocolate eggs for children to find in the morning.
P.S. If you want to be a superfly low budget philanthropist, you can assist Mariel in her good deeds. Here is an excerpt from her email and some things she could use:
*Inflatable beach balll
*Hard rubber gym ball
*Kids books and young adult books in Spanish (check out my amazon wishlist… but feel free to buy from your local bookstore…hint, hint)
*Small “prizes” (dollar bin items, toothbrushes, small toothpastes, think stocking
stuffers, coloring books)
*Educational games (that can easily be bilingual)
*Sports equipment of all kinds
*Miscellaneous arts and crafts supplies (tie-dye kits, kids crafts book, paints, oragami paper, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, magazines, food coloring, thread for braclets, beads, etc.)
*Netting for soccer goals
*Classroom decorations (in spanish)
*Math blocks (ones, tens, hundreds)
*Be creative!!! If you send it, I will use it!!!
Or if it's easier to donate funds, a great opportunity is to support Camp Glow, a girls camp held in July, that I am helping plan, edit the manual, and taking 3 girls from my community to attend. For more information and to donate, check out: https://www.peacecorps.gov/
And a million and one thanks to those who have already donated. You guys are the best!! Proper Thank Yous will follow the camp.
**If you are sending a package and it is small, please try to put it in a padded envelope. If it is larger than that, it is fine to send it in a box but send it through the post office…NOT FEDEX or UPS. Keep in mind that a package may take up to a month to get here, but so far, they have all arrived (as far as I know). The address is:
Mariel Beasley, PCV
Cuerpo de Paz
451 Bolivar, Gazcue
Apartado Postal 1412