Saturday, April 7, 2007


Miacatlan was a sugarcane hacienda built in 1890, in part from stolen stone from the nearby pre-columbian temple. An hour south of Cuernavaca, it was converted to house and educate kids for NPH in 1954.

The comedor (Dining Room) was originally a warehouse for the sugarcane.

All the kids and volunteers from the Cuernavaca site bused down together in NPH's yellow school buses on Thursday afternoon. A tour, mass and dinner followed, with a fair amount of just hanging out in between and after. The volunteers at Miacatlan welcomed us and we spent time with all of them during the our time there. The first night we hung out in one of the few rooms in the whole place with air conditioning, the second night celebrating the birthday of one of the volunteers, Erika, with a plate full of mango and candles and homemade ice cream.

There were futbol tournaments and basketball tournaments, swimming in the pool and visiting town to go to the market and get ice cream (the pistachio was good, the jicama with chili didn't quite work for me).

By far, however, the most important event of our time there was the old traditional Easter water fight on Saturday morning. I wasn't quite sure what we were in for, there was a lot of 'pre-guerra' talk. Once it began, and I was told the rules (there were no rules), the other volunteers and I grabbed garbage cans from our room(fortunately mine had only laundry soap in it originally) and headed out. Water came from everywhere, went everywhere and we filled up at whatever hose or spigot was available.

The teenage girls we live with here in Cuernavaca weren't having any of it, nearly all of them stayed in their dormitory. So we did the only thing self respecting volunteers could do. One of us who didn't have an obvious amount of water opened the door, the rest of us ran in, and doused the girls as they ran screaming and laughing, ducking behind whatever cover they could find. The ones that ran to the bathroom received an extra soaking because it's all tile so we could throw whatever water we had.

We got back this afternoon and started working on the next water fight. Apparently, one is never enough, so the volunteers and house directors filled water balloons, called all the kids to dinner and as soon as the windows to serve the food opened, we started throwing them at the kids from the kitchen. Again, the running screaming thing seems to be a frequent response to this, but so is throwing the balloons that don't explode back into the kitchen. By the time we were done, just about everyone was soaked... again.

The Patio with the Girls Dormitory to the Right

I leave for Nicaragua on Tuesday and it's rapidly approaching. I've really enjoyed my time here and am looking forward to the next couple of days as well.

1 comment:

kneek said...

That looks like so much fun!