Did You Ever Consider Gambling With Your Kids? Bingo!
We never liked gambling and I believe we will never will. Just the thought of risking the thickness of my wallet for nothing, drives me crazy. I’ve worked too hard for my money to risk it to chance. I do understand that some people get the drive and adrenaline rush out of gambling (unless they go to a cool location to seek some wedding venues like offered Vegas). I personally know some blood-relatives of mine who have lost home, business, and family to it. Ouch! And on our journey in many, many countries, such as Panama, Ecuador, Bolivia and so on; we witnessed many whose lives centered around the legal gambling facilities all around. But again, no thank you.
From time to time, I do wonder what this thrill that drives so many people go wildly rushing into casinos like there were no tomorrow. Are there any different kind of “games” that might give the same rush but with less risk, less addiction; different games, that as fun as the others, or even better and more entertaining? This nomadic family was about to find out.
So when we arrived to Costa Rica, as part of our journey, we looked for places to volunteer. In the sleepy town of Florencia, in which we worked with the elderly, we found it. Bingo! Yep, bingo.
In one of the sessions with these beautiful people, we were invited to an afternoon bingo tournament. And oh… since the public transportation from the ranch in Lucha de la Tigra to Florencia was really bad, we had to hitchhike. Usually, we found ourselves in the back of a chicken truck or us five hanging on the back of a pickup truck filled with coconuts and bananas. Not as safe as we liked but certainly was exciting. (See, we’re now into reckless driving and gambling! So, going to hell! So, going straight to hell!)
As for Bingo, we heard that this senior citizen group plays a serious game yielding gifts for the winners. We all got very excited. The thrill of winning. Though we were familiar with the game itself, we never had never gotten around to playing it with our kids. So here we go: we get the chance to win, without the risk of losing. Perfect!
In addition to the fact that we had a great time trying to figure out the numbers they said too quickly in Spanish and everyone around us helps us at almost every number; we had the honor to be part of these peoples’ lives. They were warm, loving, and everything Latino-beautiful you can imagine. The kids’ presence added to the cheerful ambiance; and we all loved receiving all that awesome love from the community.
The bingo game was played (as you can see in the very top picture) with old cards. Old buttons and used bottle caps were used as board markers. And as I am writing this article, I remember that Gabi and I stopped playing so we could help our kids catch up with the announced numbers as they were read quickly in Spanish. The kids got more than a little stressed from not understanding them. Considering the fact that Costa Rica was our first Latin country in this journey and that all the old people helped; we did very well .
As a traveling-around-the-world family on a very limited budget, what can be the best prize for us? … dah! Food! And so it was. Each of our kids won a round in the game and had the privilege of contributing to the family’s pantry a bag of rice, a pack of spaghetti, and a ceramic mug.. nice.
In addition to Bingo, though we did not play yet, we heard of an another game called 50-50 raffle. For those unfamiliar with a 50-50 (we looked it up :-)), it is essentially a raffle where 50 percent of the prize pool goes to the winner and the other 50 percent either goes to the people who runs the game or to whomever they designate it to go to. We love it best where the other half is being donated to a good cause. This type of games give us a good sense of contribution. As we know ourselves, in such games, we most likely to donate our winnings as well.
Playing Bingo and trying to catch up with the numbers
So when next time you find yourself in the threshold of a casino or any gambling facility, think about the other ways you can get excited and still do good with your money and with your time. As a traveling family who gives a great deal of time to volunteering, we do value community work, and being in control of where our money goes. . We teach our kids this way of living and we are very proud of it.
If any of you had a similar story to share about losing too much money, winning a ton, volunteering, being really stressed out cuz you couldn’t understand what was being said to you; we would to hear it!