Dear Family and Friends,
Chuck had read in the local paper that Giron is in the middle of a weeks long annual celebration involving bulls. According to the article, festivities occur daily. Yesterday, we went with our friends, Brian and Shelley, to check it out first hand.
We met Brian and Shelley at 8:00am at the Fiera Libre market in order to catch a coop bus to Giron. It was a small bus, but we were some of the first to board so we had seats in the front.
It took about an hour to get to Giron and it cost us $1.00 each.
After we arrived in Giron, we wandered around getting oriented. We asked some folks on the street what the festivities for the day were. When I mentioned bulls they seemed a little confused. Finally, they understood enough of our questions, to tell us that there would be a procession coming down the street at 11:00 am.
Since it was only 9:35, we searched for a place to have coffee and juice. While we were in the cafe, were surprised to find that several people spoke to us in English. We enjoyed chatting with them and they seemed very genuine in welcoming us to Giron.
I hope that the influx of English speaking foreigners, that are arriving monthly, are people that respect and are able to accept Ecuador's culture, people who can adapt their comfort zones to the way of life here....not people that want to change Ecuador into "what they left back home."
If we gringos, remember that even though we live here, we have been given the gift of residency and if we accept that gift with gratitude and leave our "fears and egos" where we came from, I believe we can always be welcomed here.
After our refreshment stop, we went back to the main plaza to people watch and wait for the "happening."
Brian, Shelley and Fredi..
Fredi was a great ambassador for us. People would stop and chat just because of Fredi. Here she is meeting a new friend.
Chuck enjoying the park.
About 10:30 we heard a band and the procession coming down the hill.
I kept looking for a bull. But the closest thing I could find was a child dressed in a reindeer costume dancing through the parade. (He is the little guy in the bottom right of the picture.)
There was music, dancing, horses, and religious icons. A wonderful Sunday morning mix.
They ended the procession by going into the church. Everyone except the musicians, dancers and the horses.
Afterwords we set out in search for something to eat. The restaurant, that was recommended to us by a local, was closed so we went to the market in search for some food.
After eating, we wandered back to the coop bus. While we waited for the driver, we chatted about our blogs and the possible effects of many gringos relocating here.
We enjoyed our scenic ride back to Cuenca.
A fun outing with adventurous friends...life is good!