We all need to celebrate once in a while – to focus on our blessings, all the good we receive and even the good we do. Individuals need to celebrate – so do families – and so do communities. On Saturday, May 8, the Ugat ng Kalusugan team celebrated Ami’s 31st birthday in Pulang Lupa, with our family/community of about 30 mothers and over 100 children.
What a circus! We arrived in three cars, including the new pick up truck Sally, packed with two huge pots of pancit (noodles), three large sheet cakes, all with brightly colored frosting with designs and flowers, 30 little plastic chairs in pink, green, and blue, 130 plastic bowls, 130 colored plastic cups, 130 forks, 13 people including a few visitors and Joseph, the taho man, and all his paraphernalia .
May 8 was also weighing day, so we lined up the children in front of two different scales, wrote their weights on their hands, and sent them over to Jane, our teacher, for recording. She knows most of the children by name, so this worked well.
Meanwhile we set up the plastic chairs under the nipa roof for the very small kids, and our other teacher, Evetha, started them singing and then read them a story. Evetha provided one of my favorite moments of the afternoon when she reminded the kids that the next day would be Mother’s Day and asked them if their mothers were around. Most of the kids turned their heads, searched for their moms, and then smiled the most beautiful smiles!!
And then it was time for the pancit and taho. This we’ve done before, so it was easy.
Then we passed out balloons and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Ami, and she blew out the candles on one of the cakes, and we cut all three and distributed 150 pieces of cake. The kids loved it, of course, and when they were full, they started putting streaks of frosting on their cheeks and noses like war paint!
This was a good day in Pulang Lupa – I could see how much the celebration meant to the kids, and to the mothers – they are clearly very fond of Ami, and she of them too. So it was a great way to celebrate a birthday!
And the kids all promised to greet their moms on Mother’s Day – and to be nice and helpful all day!!
Taho is a soft soy sweet drink that all the children and the staff love. It is generally sold by ambulant vendors who carry around two large metal containers hooked onto a pole. One container holds the soy curd and the other the syrup and tapioca pearls that sweeten the soy. Lyn-lyn knew Joseph from her neighborhood, and we have arranged several times to buy his entire stock and bring him along to Pulang Lupa. We all like him a lot, and he seems to enjoy going to Pulang Lupa, and the kids all know him. For me this is another contribution Ugat ng Kalusugan can make to the area – we bring in local people in various ways.