Monday, November 10, 2014

Zumba and Zuppa

This past Saturday, I had the chance to take part in an event that was very special to me. First, it took place at my church, Holy Trinity Lutheran, in Yonkers. Second, it involved two of my favorite things: exercise and eating. Third, it was organized by my wonderful mother! She has spent the past few months working a project that she is passionate about: engaging the children from the community our church is located through fun events. This was her first planned activity: Zumba and Zuppa, an event to promote a healthy diet and exercise.

First, the children helped to cook two delicious pots of Zuppa -- soup! There was one vegetarian version, and a hearty chicken version. We were joined by a group of culinary and fashion students from Saunders High School, who volunteered their time to help in the kitchen. The kids had a great time peeling, slicing, chopping, and pouring the ingredients. We had two basic recipes on hand, but ended up just adding our ingredients to the children's specifications. They loved having control over their recipes!

While the soup cooked, I led the children in a short Zumba class to show them just how fun exercising can be. I had so much fun adapting some of my favorite Zumba routines to be child-friendly. That included substituting some booty shaking with jumping, group circles, and freestyling. They all had a blast, and were surprised at how tired they felt after just a few songs.

After Zumba, Pastor Rigobert stopped in to talk to the children. Our new Pastor is great at connecting with the children and engaging them with his stories. He also impressed the young men in the group by telling him about his experience playing basketball for the Gambia's national team. When he finished speaking with the group, I let all of the girls try on my crown and sash and spoke to them about the importance about being a beautiful queen on the inside. They loved it!

Finally, it was time to enjoy the fruits of our labor!

I am so glad that my mom's Zumba and Zuppa event was a success, and I can't wait to support her community projects in the future. Next up, we're planning on baking Christmas cookies. Yum!

For more pictures, check out the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Facebook Page!

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