Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Red Cross Anniversary

For the 89th anniversary of the Bolivian Red Cross, on Monday May 15th, we started celebrating early. Sunday the 14th we organized a procession which started at the Red Cross Square in Miraflores - speeches were made and everyone sang the national anthem, yours truly participating in the chorus only as that was the only part I knew, sheepish grin - and then went via the Stadium and Ave. Busch to end at the headquarters of the La Paz Red Cross, where more speeches were made and the La Paz anthem was sung by all but yours truly who merely pretended to sing, sheepish grin squared. Finally, everyone squeezed into the patio of the La Paz Red Cross and we enjoyed salteñas and fizzy drinks. On the left, that's us prim and proper and in formation before marching (and not just any marching - a cop taught us how to do it right!) to the square where the ceremony began... These uniforms are called pitufos, i.e. "smurfs" - enough said!

On Monday morning, a number of volunteers took part in two live simulations (for TV2 and Canal7) of Red Cross interventions in case of an accident – I am famous! Too bad personal protection and the uniform, including a helmet, lab goggles and a barbijo made it nearly impossible to recognize individuals!

In the evening, a special event was held at the Radisson Hotel featuring a photo exhibit, live music, distribution of prizes recognizing certain people’s contribution to the Bolivian Red Cross’ work, and dancing. A selection of volunteers were invited to attend (on the left, Andres in position to welcome the guests as they arrived), and the rest of us – after waiting in vain for the Socorro meeting to take place – headed to “Green Bar” to celebrate unofficially, hehe. Martin, self-declared godfather to the celebration, made sure no one went thirsty, and much fun was had by all until the wee hours of the morning. What a Monday!
Here on the left are some of us in the middle of a toast to the Red Cross. From left to right: Monica, Martin, Andres, Javier, myself and Pepe.


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