In December, things really began heating up, both literally and figuratively.
Summer was in full bloom and the commission at the train station was motivated to clean up the neighborhood and the area around the station in time for Christmas. Much thought was put into what Christmas lights would adorn the station and the kids of the neighborhood were busy rehearsing lines for their living nativity scene.
I was generally around for the practices and all of the kids know me, so at some point the kids began to look to me as the official costume consultant for the play. I figured this was not the time to mention that I have never previously attended a reenactment of the birth of Jesus, nor am I entirely up to date on all of my Bible stories.
The fateful day approached and the costumes looked great, the lights had been hung, and all of the neighbors gathered their chairs in front of the steps of the train station. The only problem was that there was a missing sheep!
Somehow, it became my job to wrangle this sheep from the back of the train station to the front of the presentation. It belonged to one of the girls in the neighborhood who was a shepherd in the play and she was trying to help me as I woke it up from it’s intermittent naps on the walk around the building (SO tired!). We pushed and pulled and lifted and grunted and cheered this little sheep up to it’s place in the spotlight with the shepherds, making it just in time for the 2nd minute of the play.
The train station made a great back drop for the live nativity scene, but what was even more beautiful was looking out at the big crowd from the neighborhood and all of Paraguari that had formed to watch. Neighbors who had never spoke shared Christmas treats, kids from all different types of families played together, and Clerico (the traditional Christmas beverage) was shared by all.
Click here if you think this sounds fun and/or would like me to continue to wrangle sheep: https://donate.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=13-526-009