A couple of years ago I attended a fundraising bingo put on by neighbors who knitted clothing for people in the highlands who need warm items. Mittens, caps, scarves, even sweaters. I had a lot of fun at the fund raiser and met several local women I enjoyed verymuch. Later, I found no more bingos were planned because so many of the women in the knitting group couldn’t knit anymore, so there was no reason to raise money to purchase yarn. I was happy to find that a bingo is part of this year’s festival of Our Lady of Lourdes. She has a strong following on the beach.

Each person brings a small gift for the prize table. Re-gifting is highly acceptable, and prizes ranged from a bottle of shampoo to a 4 place settings of stoneware. The prizes are part of the fun, but any prize is a good one. Turnout was excellent. Each person donates 6 soles to the cause per bingo card. People played 1-3 cards.

A big table of the under-21 set played, too. They may have won the lion’s share of prizes. Some of the rest of us may have a tiny bit of cognitive decline, but we concentrated on our bingo cards. If more than one person had bingo at the same time, there was a drawing of bingo numbers between the winners, with the highest number taking the prize. Fortunately, there were lots of prizes and we played for over two hours before all the prizes were won. The “apagon” is the last, biggest prize, and to win you have to fill an entire card, not just a row. It means “blackout”, ending the evening with a splash.

By the time bingo broke up at around 10 pm, everyone had chatted with their friends and relatives, had a snack, played bingo, caught up on what all their friends and neighbors and their families were doing, where their children and grandchildren were spending the summer vacation, when they will be in Barranca, and otherwise had a great, sociable evening.