When I was a child, my father would scrimp and save all year long so that he could take our family to Bolivia for the summer. After several days of packing, more than six hours on a plane, and after suffering a few days of altitude sickness, my siblings and I were ready to enjoy several weeks with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many, many cousins.
Every day held a new adventure, a new food, a new game, a trip to the park, the movies, a picnic, a party. One very special memory of mine is captured in a photo of a wooded place, a campfire burning in the background, and several cousins and myself gathered around an uncle with a guitar. I remember the place was called "Mallasa", an hour or so drive from the city of La Paz. We would go there for Dia de campo (a day in the country). Our parents would load up an uncle's truck with baskets of meat, bread, corn, salad, fruit, and sodas, as well as a radio and a guitar. Another truck would carry all the kids in the back (ahhh, those were the days when folks weren't so afraid) and another vehicle would transport the rest of the adults.
It was a glorious time. I love to look at that picture, and all of the others we've saved from our summers in Bolivia. These pictures take me back to a childhood that was, for the most part, wonderful.
Photos are valuable treasures we can share with our children. They are also useful as prompts or inspiration in the classroom. A book that I love to share with my students is Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia, by Carmen Lomas Garza. Please read my review of this great selection over at the LBBC blog.