April 14, 2012

Yesterday, H and I planned to hand out fliers at an elementary school in the neighborhood to get the word out about our Saturday morning kid’s club. Unlike the ultra-lock-down status of schools in the States, we were able to saunter up, walk in without any sort of clearance or identification, and stake out by the gates.

I was being my usual embarrassed self, feeling self-conscious and worrying myself to death assuming people were judging us for looking like predatory cult members. I tried to semi-ensconce myself behind a post from staring eyes while we waited, and planned to more or less throw papers at the hoards of children with one hand and cover my face with the other. I know, I’m a wuss with an unfortunately active imagination–lethal combination.

Another American idiosyncrasy: I hate promotional fliers. I often do everything in my power to avoid people who stand outside of doors or on sidewalk corners to pass out advertisements. If I must take one, I usually throw it in the nearest trashcan without so much as a glance. I counted this as another strike against our afternoon adventure.

Soon enough, the cow bell was vigorously shaken (brought back so many memories of Chinese School), and masses of uniformed children flooded out.

Then I magically transformed into the most popular student in the school who just so happened to be hosting a VIP party everyone desperately wanted to gain entrance to.

No, but seriously. People thought I was the shiz. Girls and boys alike kept coming up to me and animatedly shouting, “Hola…chica!!!” I was surrounded by a jostling crowd of kids clamoring for a flier, some begging for multiples to share with their other friends, cousins, siblings. I even had moms grabbing my arms for copies, one for themselves and more to take to other mothers. Not to mention, the kids who already come to our OANSA were out-of-their-minds excited to see us in their environment (which was nice because then I felt a lot less like a creeper).

It was crazy. I felt like Justin Bieber minus the high-pitched voice and terrible music. I hope this uprising of fascination and the fact that we ran out of fliers in two seconds will bode well for our program.

Come one, come all, my friends! I’ll put you on my VIP list. You can walk right up to the front of the line and get in without waiting. Saturday morning play clothes and Bibles recommended.

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