From Arcades to Formal Balls

Karen E., ready for the ball

On Monday, the girls were presented with a mound of new formal dresses, just in time for the upcoming quinceañero. A lady in Yakima has donated these very nice dresses, and they were brought by Kevin and Kathy, Ursula’s padrinos. Ursula is one of the girls who will celebrate her quinceañero this week.
Later that day, we went with the girls to a brand new mall here in Arequipa, mostly for some window shopping and the rare treat of a chicken dinner. It was a little bit like herding cats. The girls really liked their first elevator ride, squealing at the sensation most of us have gotten very used to.

On the carousel

After a dozen rides up and down, we finally managed to convince them that there was more to do. Like escalators. Then we found the arcade. All of the flashing lights, bells, and whistles, but also rides for the little ones and even bumper cars. With so many kids, that could all be very expensive, but we gave each girl the opportunity for one game or ride. The little girls chose the ponies, of course.

How tall?

On Tuesday, we tried some softball practice, and I think we actually made some progress. Practice was interrupted in order to take the girls to a local clinic. When we asked what the purpose of the visit was, Mayra – always the joker – explained that they were being measured for height and weight. “This way and that way,” she gestured with a grin. It was a nice walk with the girls, and a chance for some good conversation with them.

Practicing with Mónica

Ah, and the dancing. I have found out that my dancing partner, Mónica, knows just as much about dancing the waltz as I do. Nothing. So there were a lot of laughs last night as we had our first lesson, together with a number of teens who seem to find this almost effortless. Today we’re hoping for some remedial lessons. Maybe someone can loan me a right foot for the week.