Dear Family and Friends,
Last weekend when we went to Machala we felt torn about the weekend get-away because we would be missing the parade for Father Damien. Father Damien was born 169 years ago. He was a Catholic missionary in Hawaii. While he was in Hawaii, many people became infected with leprosy. The king established a leper colony on the island of Molokai. In spite of the risk, Father Damien volunteered to go live on the island so he could minister to them. He dedicated his life to caring for the lepers until he, himself, contracted the disease and died of it.
This past week, Father Damien was made a Saint by Pope Benedict. This parade was to celebrate this occasion.
We found out from our friends that the parade did not happen on Sunday as was announced. Several of our expat friends went to town to see it, but it never happened.
This past Saturday, I had to go to town to pay for our drapes. I got to the center of town about 10:00 am and saw the parade. Yes, it was 6 days after the parade was scheduled. Here are some photos:
This band was supposed to be playing Hawaiian music, but they seemed more like they were from Cuba.
Rows of students...in their uniforms. I can't swear, but their school is probably named for Father Damien.
There was even a float depicting the life of Father Damien. It had lepers and you can see Father Damien in the upper left hand corner.
Chuck had read that there was to be a parade of llamas on Sunday, yesterday. We decided to try and catch it. He had read that it started at the Museum of Modern Art at 2:00pm and would go through town.
We wanted to be where the parade originated so we could get some close up photos of the llamas. The llamas and participants did not show up until 1:30pm.
As we took photos, it was starting to rain. We heard the people say that they were going to postpone the parade until 3:00pm.
We walked to the park for some ice cream and to wait for the parade. All we actually got was a down pour. It rained very hard.
By 4:00pm we guessed that the parade would not take place. We came home and were glad that we at least got to see the llamas.
This morning, Chuck saw a picture of the parade in the paper. They did have a parade, but instead of going through town and ending at the Banco Centro as announced, they went around the block of the Modern Art Museum.
Here are some photos of the llamas and parade participants:
This is cuy. Cuy is a cooked guinea pig. He is all decked out with an Ecuadorian flag waving out of his behind and surrounded by boiled eggs. Yummy!!!!
I think these are alpacas.
All dressed up for the parade.
The parade participants were from Ingapirca. This is a small town just outside the ruins of the same name. This man is dressed in typical clothing of the Canary people.
Cuenca is starting to gear up for the big celebration of their independence which is on November 3rd. There will be a whole week or more of festivities.
We will keep you posted.
Nancy and Chuck