Christmas & gingerbread houses

6 January 2006
8:02 AM

Gingerbread stress
Gingerbread houses don’t decorate themselves. Here one of the girls at Hogar Nuestra Casa vents about the stress of exterior design. More photos are available here.

As the Christmas season finishes, I have one last story to write about life in Cochabamba. In early November, Roy and I visited the girls living in Hogar Nuestra Casa. While we were there we took a gazillion pictures. The girls were so excited about having their pictures taken and being in photos. Every time they saw our cameras, they begged to be in a photo. Or twelve. We had so many pictures afterwards that Roy and I decided to develop one of each girl to take back as a gift.

When she heard about our plan, our professor Teresita had the great idea to bring gingerbread houses for the girls to decorate. So the three of us went back to Hogar Nuestra Casa in December with a small cookie house and a personal photo for each of them. It was really an experience to put you in the spirit of the Christmas season. When the girls saw the photos they were thrilled. On top of that, none of them had seen a gingerbread house before, nor did they have any idea what they were going to do with them. We gave them icing and candy and explained the fundamentals of gingerbread decoration. Even so, they made some interesting design decisions. One girl Karla plastered her roof edge to edge with gummi bears. Through it all the girls were really excited and kept thanking us for bringing everything. It was a reminder of the simple joy simple things can bring.

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