DANY and EFRAIN: OUR "LOVE IN ACTION" GODSONS
2009 Birthday Outings

August 29: Selva Magica for Efrain's Birthday

October 24: Day of the Dead Altars for Dany's Birthday

November 7: Selva Magica for Dany's Birthday

August 29: Selva Magica Amusement Park for Efrain's Birthday

When we asked Efrain where he wanted to go for his birthday outing, he declared "Six Flags Mexico City." So we settled for Selva Magica, the amusement park adjacent to the Guadalajara Zoo. Since we were going to be in France for Efrain's actual birthday, September 19, we took the boys a few weeks earlier.

[Selva Magica Entrance] [Dany, Efrain, Oscar and Chava] [Dany, Efrain, Oscar and Chava]

Along with Efrain and Dany, we took Oscar, Efrain's brother, and Chava. We started on the carousel.

[Efrain on the carousel] [Dany on the carousel] [Dany, Oscar, Efrain, Chava on the carousel]

Efrain and Oscar enjoyed the jungle gym with ball court. Dany's favorite pursuit were the games of chance, like throwing, or kicking, a ball into an impossible target.

[Efrain and Oscar] [Dany throwing at target] [Jim and ]

All the boys enjoyed the rides with planes or helicoptors.

[Efrain & Oscar on planes] [Dany & Chava on planes] [Oscar on helicopter]

After a turn at the popular bumper cars it was back to games of change with rifles and fishing.

[Dany on bumper cars] [Rifle shooting] [Chance games]

After a last round of fishing, the tired boys rested before our long trek back to Chapala.

[Boys fishing] [Boys at Selva Magica mural] [Oscar, Efrain, Dany & Chava]

Back at the boys dormitory at Love in Action, Efrain was soon opening his presents. His favorite was a large stuffed lion.

[Efrain with lion] [Efrain opening presents] [Efrain with toy truck]

Presents opened, house mother Cleo began cutting Efrain's birthday cake. The tradition in Mexico that the celebrant puts his face into the cake, so Efrain obliged. Jim added the ice cream to the cake.

[Cleo cutting cake] [Efrain [Jim with ice cream]

The boys enjoyed their ice cream and cake, and Oscar and Jesus tried out the cake with their noses.

[Boys enjoying their cake] [Jesus with icing on his nose] [Oscar and icing ]

October 24: Efren Gonzalez Gallery Day of the Dead Altars for Dany's Birthday

Sadly, because of Jim's bad back and another rainy Saturday, we postponed a second trip, Dany's Birthday Choice, to Selva Majica. Instead, we visited the Day of the Dead Altars at the Efren Gonzalez Gallery in Ajijic. Efren runs a program to teach children how to paint since he was given instruction as a child from Neal James. All the altars were designed to memorialize departed friends or family.

[El Jipi altar] [Altar to Sid] [Aarón, Dany, Brian & Alex at Neal James altar]

Aarón and his older brother Alex along with Brian joined Dany for this trip and the boys poised with Efren Gonzalez at his tribute to his mentor, Neal James, at this altar. The boys also posed at an altar celebrating a famous Mexican woman photographer.

[Painter's palette altar] [Efren & Alex in back; Aarón, Brian & Dany in front] [Boys at tribute to Mexican photographer]

Then back to Love in Action for Dany to open his presents with the rest of the boys in their dorm. Dany's face in the photos tell his favorite: a football player. Robin shows him a map from an atlas that we selected to teach the boys about world geography. And we also picked the C.S. Lewis children's story: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

[Dany with football player] [Dany showing Dany map] [Dany with book]

Then it was time for cake and the traditional nose in the icing.

[Dany with his football field cake] [Dany and the icing] [Dany and the cake]

Dany's mother Cleo cut the cake, the kids watched and waited patiently and Jim added the ice cream. Then all settled on the couches to enjoy their treat.

[Cleo cutting cake] [Javier] [Jim adding ice cream]

[Waiting for cake] [Javier, Noe and Aarón] [Boys eating cake]

Leaving, we promised Dany that we would go to Magica Selva in two weeks to fulfill his birthday wish.

November 7: Selva Magica for Dany's Birthday

Finally, we were off to Selva Magica again to fulfill Dany's belated birthday request. This time we took a new boy, Giovani, along with Dany, Efrain and his brother Oscar. Their first stop was the games of chance where all picked up a few prizes for their efforts. None could stay on the ladder, but all won at the marble game.

[Efrain, Dany, Giovani & Oscar] [Oscar on the Crazy Ladder] [Boys at marble game]

Dany had some luck with the ball boss, but after spending all their tickets, we headed for the rides: the bumper cars, helicopters and the popular jungle gym.

[Dany at ball toss] [Bumper Cars] [Giovani in helicopter]

[Efrain & Dany in gym] [Dany in gym] [Oscar & Giovani in ball court]

Also popular was the swinging pirate ship. All the boys tried the ride with most going back for more.

[Pirate Ship] [Pirate Ship] [Dany, Efrain & Oscar]

Dany and Oscar loved the flying octopus ride and took it twice.

[Dany & Oscar on Octopus] [Dany & Oscar on Octopus] [Dany & Oscar on Octopus]

The last ride of the day was the Russian Mountain Roller Coaster. And on the way out we stopped for a few last pictures. One at another favorite stop: La Casa de Terror.

[Russian Mountain Roller Coaster] [Russian Mountain] [Russian Mountain hill]

[Boys at La Casa de Terror] [Giovani & Oscar] [Efrain & Dany]

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Our Godsons: Dany and Efrain

Nuestros Ahijados: Dany y Efrain