Join me on INSTAGRAM, my name is ecuadorchick.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve in Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been very fascinating. I have been watching the numbers of stuffed bodies and masks growing by the day. They are for sell in every section of town.

Headless bodies...

Heads for bodies....

Bodies with heads...

It is a tradition in Cuenca to burn these dummies. The faces of the heads are mostly hand made and represent politicians and other public figures. People buy them and assemble their victim and on New Year's Eve the fires begin to burn. If one has a beef with another person, they just torch them at midnight. Seems a little like voodoo, but actually it is done all in fun.

They are made of flammable materials....

Here is a body with a BIG head (wonder if this is mean't to be literal?)

There is an excellent blog all about this tradition on Cuenca Highlife.

We are looking forward to witnessing some of the celebrations tonight.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day in Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck, Jim, Audrey and I had a quiet Christmas day.

We had a nice brunch and then opened our stockings and gifts.

Christmas trees are quite new to this culture. Not many people have them and the government keeps reminding the citizens that the nativity is their custom, not Christmas trees.

Those who have Christmas trees have only artificial ones. There are no fresh cut trees to be purchased.

Chuck and I decided to not have a tree to be in keeping with our new home.

We did however, put our stockings under our flower arrangement just to have a focal point for our gifts.

Here is a picture of Chuck and I sitting beside our "Christmas Focal Point."

For Christmas dinner, we had a very non traditional meal. Grilled steaks, potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and a green salad.

We had a very special guest, Nikki. Nikki has been reading my blog and emailed me before we even left the U.S. She said that she would be in Cuenca and would like to meet us. She called me on Christmas Eve and I invited her to come for our Christmas dinner. She is a very delightful 21 year old woman. She helped make our Christmas special and we are so glad to know her. I have a feeling we will be seeing quite a bit of her in the future.

Today was the first day of the modernizing of our bus system. Audrey has done a wonderful blog regarding the new system. Click here to read all about it.

Now we are getting ready for New Years celebrations.

Nancy and Chuck

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in Cuenca - Passing of the Children

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas Eve in Cuenca Ecuador is a magical day. Every year they have Paseo de Ninos (Passing of the Children.) It seems that every child in Cuenca dresses up and passes through the streets. I don't know the history of this custom, but it has probably been going on for many years.

Chuck, Jim, Audrey and I left our house this morning about 10:30am. We returned about 5:00pm. All during that time we witnessed the passing of the children. It was so delightful that I must share some of the pictures I took.

Some children were riding floats

Some were in their mother's arms.

This little angel was on her mother's back.

This dog even got into the parade. He seems to have a monkey on his back.

There were ornate floats such as this one.

Beautiful children

Little toreadors

A Senorita...

Dressed up babies...

And young people dancing.

Here are some children dressed from the Amazon area of Ecuador.

This little guys parents covered him in charcoal.

An Amazon princess

There were a lot children riding horses and burros.

Therefore there were a lot of animal tracks....

We had to step carefully....

Oops!! The bottom of my shoe...

There were a lot of little angels.....

Sleeping babies...

Thousands of little children and young people passed through the streets of Cuenca today.

Here are some more photos of these precious children...

It was so wonderful being able to be part of this experience. The most wonderful Christmas Eve I have ever spent was in a missionary hospital in Rawanda Africa. click here . This Christmas Eve was the second most wonderful.

Chuck and I wish you a peaceful, loving holiday with your family and friends.

Nancy and Chuck

Audrey has started her own blog. She has more pictures of this wonderful event. If you would like to see her photos click here.