Things have been ramping up around here. I’m starting to realize that I’ve said yes to too many things, as I’m wont to do. For that reason I wasn’t about to volunteer to organize any Halloween events as many other PCVs do around the country. It was a week before Halloween when my 12th grade English Club students asked me what I was planning for the big day. ‘Joanna planned the Halloween party last year,’ they said. Gosh darn it, Joanna! (Joanna’s the PCV that was teaching at my school before me.) It turns out my resolution not to volunteer to organize Halloween events cracks under the slightest pressure. I dove right into planning, asked the students what they would like to see, started calculating how much time it would take me to make enough decorations for the gym, and then found out the English teachers were planning the festivities. Phew!
We ended up putting on two parties: one for the younger students, one for the older ones. We handed out certificates and candy for best and spookiest costumes, best class posters, and the competitions we organized. I’m pretty sure I have hearing loss from those scream contests. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the students, but they went all out! Almost all of them had their faces painted and some wore costumes as well. I felt quite under dressed in a $3 witch’s hat so I made arrangements to up my game for the next night as soon as I got home i.e. I called Kevin and asked to borrow his Halloween makeup.
I offered to provide the music and reveled in the opportunity to create an authentic Halloween environment with some classic Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The first few bars had not passed when the teachers turned to me and said ‘What’s this? Can’t you play some disco?’ (In Mongolia disco refers to any music you can stand in a circle and dance to.) Halloween heathens. My suggestion of ‘Michael Jackson?’ was met with enthusiasm until I started playing Thriller and they didn’t recognize it. The only song on my playlist deemed appropriate was Disturbia by Rihanna and that ended up being played on repeat for a while so I came prepared with more dance music the next night.
All in all, I had a blast both nights and have a better idea of what to expect for next year. I’ve also got a bunch of inspiration for how to improve on these terrific experiences to make them even more ghoulish.