Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pilot Point Carnival '17

In many of the villages in our district, "Carnival" is a big deal. Carnival is a weekend of fun events, hosted by the village. We'd been hearing about Pilot Point's Winter Carnival practically since we stepped off of the airplane back in August. The kids are constantly raving about it and asking us things like, "Are you going to dance with me at the Carnival dance?!" With the students so excited,  I couldn't help getting a bit hyped up about it myself.

Friday afternoon we released from school at lunchtime and then the village officially kicked off the Carnival with a kids cooking competition hosted at the school. This was probably one of my favorite events of the whole Carnival because the kids were so incredibly excited about it. The competition was set-up like the show Chopped. The kids each had a basket of "mystery ingredients" and they were given one hour to create an edible dinner meal. Each kid was assigned an adult to help them chop things, get supplies, open packages, and other safety-type things, but the adults weren't allowed to give any meal/cooking ideas. The winning dish ended up being a great curry that one of our fifth grade boys whipped up.

Other fun events that we participated in on Friday included: a poker run, scavenger hunt, dinner hosted at the school, and a dance. Our village flew in a band from the neighboring village of Kokhanok. The band was missing a drummer, but they were in luck - Cody keeps a great drum kit at our house here! So, Cody joined the band and ended up playing three nights in a row. He had so much fun getting to play with an actual band for a change, as opposed to just jamming at the house solo. The kids also enjoyed seeing Cody play, some of the littlest kiddos even got a drum lesson from him one evening. Meanwhile, I was recruited by the little girls to dance non-stop the entirety of the band's performance.

The second day of Carnival began in the morning with a community breakfast. After breakfast, there were many events planned. The first event of the day was the Air Drop. For the drop, a local pilot flew really low over a designated spot (this year it was Loon Lake behind the school), and he threw candy and prizes out of his airplane window. Everyone in town ran around the lake trying to collect the items. It was a freezing morning for the event, with temps in the single digits and waist-deep snow drifts on the lake, but we still had a blast.

Throughout the rest of Carnival we continued to try and participate in as many events as possible. We played bingo, ate dinner at the big community feast, went to the dance every night, played the raffles and cakewalks, and what seems like a million other little things. By Sunday, we were exhausted. Lucky for everyone else, there was no school on Monday or Tuesday following Winter Carnival. Unlucky for me, I had to travel for basketball early on Monday morning and didn't get to enjoy the necessary recuperation time after all of the excitement. Even with the extreme busyness of the weekend, I couldn't help but feel extremely happy that we got to participate in such a unique community event. I'm already counting down until Winter Carnival 2018!

Your turn...Does your community have any unique events that they celebrate?
Currently listening to...Move to the Mountains - Clock Opera

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