As we mentioned, Christmas is the big holiday here in Ecuador and there would be no more proof than the many, many Christmas school pagents performed all over town. Last week there were booths set up in the parks and holiday inventory was brought out in most stores, all catering to the need for Christmas pagent costumes. Our Jonny was not left out. He was assigned the role of Melchior, one of the wisemen. So, off we went looking for a crown, purple robe, sash and beard for a four year old. In San Francisco Park, almost all of the booths that usually sell only native Indian crafts had, on this special week, women busily sewing Christmas pagent paraphanalia. For a few dollars, we got the necessary costume parts and spent the next evening trying to make it fit and stay on a restless little boy. There was huge excitement the day of the pagent. The entire school spent the day at the San Sebastian Church yard rehearsing. At the appointed hour we sat in front row seats of the church yard among a crowd of about three hundred parents. Angels, wisemen, Marys and Josephs paraded onto the scene. Spanish Christmas music played over loudspeakers and, class by class, songs were sung and the nativity scene was acted out. A huge success for all, especially the children who, though usually quite shy, sang out loud and clear. There is a seven year old blind boy who stood at one of the microphones and sang his heart out with a huge smile on his face. Christmas is a season where we too easily forget the real reason for the holiday but it came through for everyone, old and young last Friday evening. To see the children’s faces filled with joy at the applause and genuine attention who have never performed in front of an audience, was a pleasure to behold. And, a similar scene went on at each of the hundreds of schools in Cuenca. The costume is now packed away until next year. And the long wait for Christmas begins.
A New Kind of Blog
There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.