Loja for good

Trip Start May 02, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Friday, September 2, 2005

Sept 2nd
Arrival in Loja. Well, it was hard to say goodbye to everybody, but just as it was when I left my family in the States, I was ready to see what was awaiting me for my next venture. The overnight bus was less excrutiating than the last trips at the beginning of August were. Although I will never take a bus trip to Quito over the next year, if I have a choice. I will be living with the parents of a coworker of mine. His name is Rubén Román. He lives down the street with his wife and two kids. His other brother lives down the street also with his wife and kids. I also happened to come in to town in the middle of the Fiestas for the Virgen del Cisne. These fiestas last like two months or so. I realize that Ecuador never comes up short of fiestas. Myself, being catholic and attending catholic schools for 12 years, I have always known that we had a lot of saints and holy days. Ever since I made it down here, I've realized there's a holy day just about every week, and some last for months. I am not complaining. The parades and dancing and firework displays along with the beautiful music, all together is just breath-taking. One thing about the fireworks... Down here they don't seem to have the precautions that we Americans have. For example, during a firework display, where all of the people are gathered around, they set off these "castles" of fireworks that shoot stuff in all directions. THEN, they let loose the "Vaca Loca". This thing is a paper-maché semblance of a cow, lined with a ton of fireworks. A gentleman prances around with this object over his head making the movements of this animal while fireworks shoot off in all directions, mainly into the crowd. The people scream and scatter somewhat, then they squeeze back together to see the crazy cow shoot of more incendiaries into the crowd. I don't know, but I feel that if this were to happen in the US, people would be crapping their pants looking for someone to sue. That's what I like about living here. The people are, as they say "tranquilo", meaning they don't get bent out of shape about the little things that happen. I have always been this way myself. If someone bumps into you on the street down here it's OK, we go about our business. If this happens in the US, it's more likely that you will end up getting a tongue-lashing and perhaps get into a fight. I don't know about you, but I prefer to stay "tranquilo" and enjoy the finer things of life...
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