Nobody told us to pack Halloween costumes!
Creating a Halloween costume is a tricky thing here in Honduras. We don’t exactly have the luxury of a giant PartyCity down the street. In fact adult Halloween costumes are virtually impossible to find. Even accessories like cat ears or devil horns are nearly impossible to come by. Through much searching (and quizzing of the students) we managed to find a few stores with a small selection of little kid costumes and a hat or two. Now that being said, if you haven’t completely forgotten what Alex and I are like since we’ve been gone, you probably remember that we are not store-bought costume type of people! I tried asking my students about a goodwill type of store and they just looked at me with confused stares. Apparently there’s no such thing as buying used clothes here. We are lucky though that if you shop at the right stores things can be very inexpensive in Honduras! The downtown area of San Pedro Sula is filled with knock off stores so we did a significant amount of our shopping there. It turns out my idea to be a gold-digger also worked well with the current Honduran fashions (metallic clothing and shoes are very easy to find). Ridiculously gawdy gold high heels for $7…perfect!
As far as celebrations go we have managed to drag Halloween out for nearly a week!
Last Friday the middle school student council put on a Masquerade Dance. Each teacher had to work a shift so we got to see true adolescence in action. Alex has spent several years working with middle school students, but this being my first time, I found the whole experience highly entertaining. It turns out that being in middle school is awkward no matter what country you live in. The girls danced in hoards in the middle of the gym, while the seventh grade boys hung out on the outskirts, periodically shoving a semi-willing participant toward the girls. The sixth grade boys, oblivious to the ladies, chased each other around the gym like it was recess. And after a little time, the eighth grade couples started to filter onto the dance floor, making the sixth grade boys seem even more out of place! I remember attending middle school dances and I know this is how it works, but watching it from a teacher’s view was the highlight of my Friday:)
While the dance was entertaining, costumes were not a big deal. Only a few students dressed up, the majority of them opting for a party dress/jeans and shirt and a small mask that they carried in their hands.
Saturday night our apartment complex threw a Halloween Bash for all the teachers we work with. We put up decorations, made wop (aka punch), and filled the fountain in our courtyard with bubbles. Everyone got all decked out and we taught the non-Wisconsinites how to have Halloween Madison-style!
If you look carefully in the background of this photo you can see the bubbles overflowing from the fountain.
Halloween Day at school has been much calmer compared to the weekend, especially in the middle school. Students are allowed to wear costumes, but many of them used that opportunity to wear regular clothes instead of their uniform. It seems that the risk of not looking cool far outweighs the fun of dressing in costume. Only 2 or 3 kids per class are dressed up.
It may not be cool in middle school, but the majority of the elementary school students are dressed up and many classes chose a theme for students to think about when picking a costume. For example our friend Ellie has a sports theme in her class. Students are dressed as different athletes and she dressed as a basketball. Storybook characters are another popular theme.
A handful of high school students are also dressed up, as well as some of the teachers. Alex and I were all creatived out and opted instead for orange gear. Next year we know to bring accessories with us in order to have a few more options (I can just picture my cat ears inside the storage unit).