Written by: Ilene Solomon
Sundays are good for lots of things here in Potrero: taking a nice walk on the beach, participating an action-packed game of soccer, enjoying a delicious batido (smoothie) in the mid-afternoon, and also for playing community-wide BINGO games!
The newly formed El comite del Club de Ninos (think PTA) of our Abriendo Mentes kids had a mission to raise money for the repair and maintenance of the Kids Club. What better way to do so than put together a couple rounds of BINGO? After a few weeks of planning, and securing a total of 35 prizes, our AM BINGO day began without a hitch. We sold approximately 125 BINGO cards, and hosted around 200 people! The group El comite del Club de Ninos provided sodas, Tico snowcones, and lots of good eats like arroz con pollo and meat on a stick. Looking around the Salon that Sunday, one could see many-a-hopeful face(most eyeing the prize of a brand new fan!).
As Leo, the father of AM students Austin and Justin, drew out the first number of the day from the hand-powered-number-shuffler, complete silence fell upon the group. “Setenta y cinco,” he called. “What? Did he say 75 or 67?” asked a confused AM volunteer at my table. “I thought he said 56,” said another volunteer. Not only is deciphering numbers in a second language challenging, it seemed that over the course of the day, Leo increasingly sped up his calling pace. During about 5 hours of our best attempts at playing BINGO in a second language, our conversations continued on like this: “Wait, what? 48 or 84?” “No, I think he said 18.” “What was the number before? 13 or 30?”
Truly, it is a surprise that volunteers Drew, Peter, Rachael, Addison and Birgitte were able to win a couple rounds! But they proved their solid Spanish skills and walked out of the Salon afterwards with gift certificates to local restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops along with food baskets and fine dishware. For the rest of the AM crew, we’re convinced that being lost in translation prevented us from winning at least one round, but are determined to brush up on our Spanish numbers for the next BINGO Sunday.
After the final BINGO card was put away and the last prizes were traded—in fact, staying after the games to swap the blender for a food basket is part of the fun—we chalked this BINGO event up as a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. Lost in translation or not…a winner or loser, we raised about $600 to go towards TLC for our Kid’s Club. Fun was had by all and the best part? We spent the day as a community.