1) Five-year-old girls dance on the shoulders of women during the ‘Coca’ celebration in Redondela, in rural northeastern Spain, Sunday. The tradition of dancing with daughters on the shoulders is taken from a local legend, believed to originate from the Middle Ages, about two women who were saved from a dragon by dancing in this manner. The children are dressed in traditional costumes called ‘Penlas’


Picture is from a slide show on the Christian Science Monitor site:


When was the last time you danced with children?

2) Castrillo de Murcia, Spain: A man representing the devil, known as el Colacho, jumps over babies during traditional Corpus Christi celebrations

I hope those babies belong to the guys who are doing the jumping.  🙂

What use to scare you as a child?

3) Mexico City, Mexico: Performers prepare to take part in la charreria, the Mexican form of rodeo.

What was the most memorable costume you have worn?

Both 2 &3 above are from a Guardian Newspaper slide show


4) The most awesome football (Soccer) team in the world. 

The women of the Vakhegula Vakhegula (Grannies Grannies) soccer team, ranging in age from 49 to 84, warmed up before a game last month near Tzaneen, South Africa.

From a New York Times story about them:


“Five days before the start of the World Cup, the stars of the celebration were a soccer team — a group of 35 women ages 49 to 84. After the speeches and ceremonies, the team, Vakhegula Vakhegula, would play an exhibition game.

Beka Ntsanwisi founded Vakhegula Vakhegula five years ago as a way of providing inspiration for older women.”

“Ntsanwisi’s decision to found the team came out of her own sense of personal challenge.

In 2003, she learned she had colon cancer; by 2005, she was using a wheelchair. In the process of her treatment, Ntsanwisi visited a number of public hospitals and was disturbed by the level of treatment of elderly patients, especially women. Many were despondent or confused. She thought that regular exercise would be beneficial. That exercise evolved into soccer.

When they were girls, playing sports was not a realistic option.

“In my generation, it was not like it is today,” Ntsanwisi said. “When you played soccer, you were a little bit afraid. Our culture was like that. Our culture would tell you that a woman has to be home cooking for the husband or cooking for the family.”

“The team’s leading scorer is Beatrice Tshabala, a relative baby at 49. Her nickname on the team is Lionel Messi, after the Argentine star.

When Tshabala’s husband died in 2005, the Grannies became her extended family to share the grief and sorrow.

“Even if we’re not playing, I go to their house, we talk and pray and whatever,” Tshabala said. “So at church I’m busy, at work and then with the grannies, I don’t have time to sit down and mourn every day.”

For Onica Ndzhovela, the Grannies helped her spirit from being broken. She had 12 children; 8 of them died.

“People were saying I was mad,” Ndzhovela said. “I was not mad; I had a lot of stress. It’s not easy to lose eight.”

The Grannies became her family; the soccer competition became an emotional outlet.”