Last night, I think I had my best sleep yet in Ukarumpa (besides, perhaps, that first night). Why? Because last night, among other things, was Skate Night.
Here’s how it works – every class at the high school is responsible for raising money throughout their Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. At the end of that time, all the money they’ve raised goes toward a Senior trip and some community service project for the school (sort of like an Eagle Scout project, but with a whole group of folks).
And each year, they have certain types of fundraisers specific to their class. The 9th graders do bake sales, the 10th graders do Skate Nights, the 11th graders do Italian and Mexican community dinners, and the 12th graders… actually I don’t know what the 12th graders do. Maybe they do haircuts.
I was one of the “Adult Sponsors” of Skate Night last evening, so now I have the inside scoop on how it’s organized. But I use the term “organized” loosely. Here’s what it looks like from a guest’s perspective:
You walk up to the door of the Meeting House, where you pay 4 Kina to come in and skate. Your hand is stamped with a smiley face. You show your hand to the bouncer (a guy with a red beard who dresses up like jesters from time to time) who lets you in and points you to the pile of skates on your right. If you can find a matching pair in your own size, you have achieved a great victory.
You then proceed to the cleared out center of the Meeting Hall (complete with multicolored lighting and a disco ball) where multitudes of people are skating round and round in circles on a concrete floor. Every now and then someone comes over the microphone and calls for a change in direction. Meanwhile, people with scooters and skateboards join the fray.
It was, I’m happy to say, all great fun. And while it wasn’t the safest thing to do on a Friday night, the people here in Ukarumpa are clearly of the mindset that few skinned knees aren’t always such a bad thing for a child. It was refreshing, actually – especially when I think of all the plastic playgrounds with spongey floors that are in style now.
In other news:
1) I successfully made some tasty Rhubarb Lemonade (thanks especially to your recipe, Christine, which worked marvelously).
2) Friday was “Green” day at school, so I invaded the prop room again and came out as Robin Hood. I am pleased to say that no one thought I was a chicken this time.
And… 3) Tonight, my good ol’ 9th graders are coming over to make pizza (homemade dough and all) with me, which should be great fun and hopefully only semi-disatrous.