Monday, May 9, 2011


First you need to know: I detest Barney … yes … the big purple dinosaur. Always have, and probably always will. It started when he first appeared on the scene. I had two little sons and worked in a kindergarten classroom at the time – he made me very nervous and I just didn’t trust him.

So I have a long running joke with Cecilia – every time we drive or walk by someone who is selling something with Barney on it – be it a blanket, a mug, a stuffed animal … she sing-songs “I want Barney” … and I always give her a look and tell her “no” … I have no idea how that started but she quickly realized my aversion to the critter and she does like to tease me.

This has been going on for over two years I think.

On a trip back to the states last year, I found a Barney stuffed animal at a store – and worse yet – it sings when you push its tummy … and (what was I thinking??) I bought it. Sigh. It haunts me to this day. My sister Sandy, who was in on our little game, told me to give it to her in HER name and then pretend I didn’t know what was in the bag!  A conspiracy between my real sister and my Salvadoran sister!

Cecilia loved it. And she still pulls the darned thing out to terrorize me on occasion. She can be feisty!!

So – while in San Salvador last year with a delegation – was that with you Ankeny?? – We were driving from here to there and we passed a piñata store. And there was Barney hanging on the side of the highway … I yelled “stop!” to our driver Alfredo – who thankfully did NOT slam on the brakes in that heavy traffic – but rather listened to what I wanted to do and then found a safe place to turn around so I could buy a BIG Barney piñata for Cecilia’s birthday. I think this was back in November … Ceci’s birthday was today! We snuck it into the house; black bagged it and snuck it into my bedroom where it has been sitting collecting dust on top of my wardrobe. Finally today we got to beat the daylights out of it!


Cecilia had gone home earlier today to help her mom get ready for her Rosary. That made it easier to take Barney with us to Alejandria later in the afternoon. We did, however, wait till after the Rosary – when it was again just family and close friends – to string him up from a nice high tree!! Thank you Mauricio for your bravery!

Cecilia’s sons Elmer and Marvin stuffed him with the candy I had brought - doing this in a back bedroom (Side note: this was the first time I’d been back in that part of the house (man – there isn’t a whole bunch of privacy for those four “bedrooms” – only a sheet draped between the 4 full sized beds – all with mosquito netting thankfully! And MINIMAL walking space anywhere. Dirt floor, holey walls, old lamina roof … gee – the members of the Pastoral Team are JUST as bad off as the poor in the communities that they serve!! Sigh).
Anyway. Elmer and Marvin enjoyed stuffing him … Mauricio climbed the big tree to string him up and little Freddie (nephew) got to begin the whacking!! Then Marvin … then Blanca insisted that Ceci have a turn. Then Alicia, then finally, Balmore had a few swings.

What a mess of candy! And poor Barney. I ALMOST felt sorry for him. Almost.

It was a good day over all; my moment of peace earlier (see the prior blog) and moments of craziness.

Alisha, Marvin and Elmer stuffing Barney with candy!

Freddy (Cecilia's nephew) and his best friend Barney

Cecilia, Freddy and friend.

Mauricio in the tree catching to rope Elmer is throwing to STRING HIM UP!

Freddy gets the first whack!

Blanca trying to convince Cecilia to give him a whack!  (She ultimately declined!)

Marvin has some power!!

Alicia gets a try!  I wouldn't mess with her!!!

Balmore's turn!  It was great to see him having fun!

Everybody dives for candy!

Freddy got a shirt full!

Blanca got a skirt full - but ultimately gave it all away.

Marvin and his booty

Cecilia a little sad for her friend ...

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