The party was a SMASHING success. Not only did we have 52 rambunctious 8-year-old speaking 3 different languages, laughing and having an absolute blast, we also had about as many adults doing the same. The kids made tree ornaments and snow globes, visited with Santa, got a backpack stuffed full of goodies, sang Christmas songs, and generally got glitter and glue all over everything for two hours. FANTASTIC!!! The key thing here was that the kids were from different ethnic groups here in Kosovo. This was the first time most of these kids had ever seen someone from another ethnic group, much less played with them. It was so neat watching Serbian, Albanian and Roma children hanging out side by side working on the same activities. It just shows how much we learn to hate as we get older - at 8 years old there's still no prejudice against someone for their nationality, it's something they will learn as they get older. Hopefully with more community building activities like this one, the kids won't grow up with the same suspicions and fears their parents did. Anyway, so on top of it being really fun, we managed to garner all kinds of media attention. The event, including an interview with my smilling mug, made the 6:00 national news as well as 4 newspapers the next day. My little old landlord came knocking on my door the next morning "Mithchelle, Mitchelle - ju ju - televisore! Televisore!!", which I gathered to mean he saw me on TV the night before. He is so darn cute, I just want to pinch his cheeks. Anyway, I'm pretty proud of putting together an event that really pulled in the whole community like it did. Damn cool.
I'll have pictures posted soon, my camera was being used to take Santa photos (we printed them out for each of the kids to take home with them), so I have to gather from other sources first.