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When we were asked what we had done to get to know our community while we were living in Mexico beyond activities that were planned by LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), we spent a long time thinking and came up with nothing.  We had not done one thing in our 3 months of living here to get to know the people of our community. Personally, I was very upset that I had not stepped outside of my comfort zone to just leave the house. A challenge was put in front of us to change this, so we stepped up.After throwing a few ideas out on the table we, the SOL’s, would throw a carnival in one of the lots next door for the kids of our neighbourhood. Nothing would be paid for by LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) or planned by the facilitators; we were responsible for it all. A lot of work needed to be done!  149254_10150090919196023_577851022_7829865_8242502_n.jpgWe brainstormed about possible games and activities and came up with some great ideas such as a face painting station run by the one and only Em Cost; Alex and Shane had to be called in for reinforcements later due to popularity. Balloon animals were made by the dedicated Zoe who only learned to tie them just hours before on an internet tutorial. There was soccer for the older kids, parachute games, a water relay and lots and lots of free lemonade. Our prize possession of the SOL Carnival was the bouncy castle that we rented for the day. Yes, I said bouncy castle. Complete with a bouncy area, climbing wall and slide. Once the kids were gone for the day, we may or may not have spent some time in it ourselves.155578_10150090919361023_577851022_7829871_1846311_n.jpgIt was a huge success. I was a little nervous about not having ANY kids show up or having TOO many but we had about 60 kids show up which was totally manageable. Our friends from around the community who are bilingual came and helped out which was awesome; don’t know how we would have done it without them. We all dressed up in silly clown clothes and had a lot of fun with the kids.  I personally think that it was one of my highlights of Mexico. 148687_10150090919421023_577851022_7829874_6331950_n.jpgHopefully SOL’s in the future decide to continue with this, and maybe, just maybe they can even make it better…but I doubt it. Ours ROCKED.77150_10150090919211023_577851022_7829866_3712111_n.jpgMatt Strong, a School of Leadership Student living in Mexico

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 27th, 2010