Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Parade of Fantasy

Here I sit at the computer on yet another Sunday, Broadway music playing in the background, while I mentally (sometimes physically) dance along...I am glad I brought most of our CD's here and that I actually successfully strung together all those cables and coloured bits and wires to produce this beautiful sound! The theatre system by Panasonic that we bought in Canada about 5 years ago still sounds marvellous despite being stored away for over two years. Along with my iPod and the Bose sound system, we can continue to enjoy the music we both love.

As for the television, that may be another story. Currently we subscribe to DirectTV which has some drawbacks. Presently, CBS is not available!  No idea why. I do not know about Claro, but Sky offers an excellent list of satellite stations and if we pay a little more per month we can have HD. Some friends are enjoying BBC as well as the American networks, all sports and entertainment they want for $75 per month. In trying to cut back, we have gone too far. There are no movie houses here...the nearest is in Chitre, and the movies are in Spanish with subtitles. I subscribe to Netflix, but have to hook that up through my computer each time. The woes of a third world!

On the home-front, our pool is almost finished. Tiling started on Friday, then the rain absolutely teemed down on Saturday morning and stopped that activity. Luckily, the afternoon cleared and even some sun poked through, so we were off to the local Fiesta de Carretas  (Festival of carts) which is an annual Pedasi event with the town square crowded with stalls offering handmade wares and jewellery, clothing items, food, drink, and cervesas for seventy-five cents. Shortly after 3 pm, a parade started. Led by huge banners proclaiming the name of each local pueblo, came decorated carts pulled by magnificent bulls; each cart was decorated with various items that indicate the main livelihood of that particular town, such as fish (Pedasi), corn stalks, fruit, vegetables etc. Atop all this sat a beautiful young woman or children, dressed in the national costume, the pollera. Many local townsfolk joined the parade, and there were literally a few thousand others watching and cheering. There was much drinking going on and a large contingent of police patrol on foot and in cars keeping a watchful eye. We left before the loud music and dancing started. Apparently, sometimes drunken fights can start which explains the police presence! We did meet up with several pals and some of us took photos. The parents were happy to let me photograph their little ones, and proudly posed them each time.
I saw much pride and open delight on faces, and as a people-watcher and photographer of sorts, I could have stayed hours longer...but legs and feet being older, it was a no go!

This is a whole weekend celebration, with the Queen being crowned on Friday evening. Fireworks round out the evenings after dancing and there is much loud music, laughter and joy apparent in the local folks.Despite the simplicity, it is hard not to feel the happiness and friendliness. I took many photos, but include just a few above to show the pride and loveliness of the youngsters. The pollera is a true work of art; starting with a fine cotton, completely hand-sewn, it may take a year to pleat and embroider, costing over a thousand dollars by the finish. There are always matching pom-poms front and back, the shoes match in colour, and the head decorations can be intricate. I am delighted to have witnessed all this!

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