The 18th of September celebrates Chile's independence form Spain. This truly month-long celebration is known as "Dieciocho" which comes from the words: diez (ten) y (and) ocho (eight) meaning the 18th. My kids learned in school that the 18th of September actually marks the day when the first government here was formed. Their 'independence' actually occurred the February prior.
Regardless, the Chileans take this time of year very seriously. The entire month is filled with fiestas!
Here are a few snapshots from our church celebration:
Raising the flag while singing the national anthem
Traditional Chilean dancers preformed the Quaka - Chile's national dance
(The US needs a national dance)
The Quaka is about a man asking a woman to dance. The kids learned the basic steps in PE this year. If yet to see them dance it - if they ever do, I'll record it and post it here. Please don't hold your breath.
We had a great time with our friends
The kids here all have a special handshake.
slap/knuckle-bump/snap (I think)
My friends loved our "gringa" salad. I was specifically asked to bring something traditional to my country. Traditional - but different from what they do here. They make a potato salad... so I decided to go with a broccoli salad. It was a hit.
Our boys with Elder Reber - it is fun to have some english speaking missionaries around these parts.
A friend of the boys' brought his pet chicken. Wait. Roster. I think it's a roster. When it came out - I was horrified. I worried they'd kill it and roast it up right there. Because they do like things fresh. Thank goodness it was only a pet.
We played some games.
This relay race involved digging around in some flour with your face looking for the candy.
Greg played. He nailed the balancing the egg on the spoon part.
But his plate of flour was missing the candy. So he dug around for a while before they realized it and brought him over a piece.
Here he is with our friend Laura Hamilton. I think Laura might have won that round!
Alex is playing with the prize: a couple of the traditional Chilean toys.
One is a little 'hat' on a string tied to a stick. You hold the stick, swing the 'hat' in the air and try to catch it on the end of the stick.
The other wooden toy is a top. You wrap the sting around in a specific way and then whip it hard. The top spins (if you do it right) on the ground. The Chileans will then use the string to grab the top while it's spinning on the ground and toss it in the air. They then catch it on the palm of their hand while it stays spinning - it's pretty impressive! I can't even get the thing to spin on the ground.
Of course there was time for a game or two of futbol - we are in Chile!
They are playing with one of the missionaries from Nigera - he was REALLY good!
There is also a lot of kite flying this time of year. Spring brings out the sunny days with light breezes - perfect for kite flying. It seems to be a critical part of the festivities.
Here is another one of the english speaking missionaries trying to get his kite up in the air. He tried really hard (even lost his hat mid-run) but I don't think he ever got it going.
It was a beautiful day for a fantastic fiesta! We love it here. We love learning and participating in all the traditional culture. THIS is why we came here. To learn and grow. We have definitely done that! Thanks to some amazing people that are willing to teach us!