Monday, March 21, 2011

San Jose fiesta

Saturday, 3-19-11

The Festival of Saint Joseph: Today it was 5:00am that I woke up to the obnoxious sounds of a parade: people singing and shouting, car horns honking, cohetes (noisemakers) being set off, etc. I’m still trying to understand why people want to party at that hour. I realize people here start their day earlier than many folks in the US, but do they have to start so loudly? And end loudly as well? With loud stuff in between? Does being loud at 5am equal being more devout? If it does then I’m in serious trouble. Kathy made a good point later by saying that if they postponed the parade until later they’d probably have a bigger crowd. Once again I grabbed my earplugs and put a pillow over my head to dampen the noise.

I got up a little earlier than yesterday but was still dragging. Cecilia said the festivities started earlier than 5am but I must not have heard anything. Kathy said tomorrow is going to be a big day because it’s the last day of the festival. I guess there’s going to be some parades and people from all the different communities in the Berlín municipality will be here. I’m afraid to find out at what early morning hour I’ll be awakened tomorrow. I’m wondering if I should just go ahead and put earplugs in before I go to bed. At night when all the people on the Ferris wheel are screaming at the top of their lungs and the bass music is so loud I can almost feel the vibrations, I find myself thinking bad thoughts and wishing people would just go to bed. I love patron saint week but sometimes the loudness of it all drives me nuts.

Chelita escaped twice again today. I’ve realized that she only escapes from her plastic tub when she sees me. When I go to take her food out or give her more food she sees me and starts cheeping. Then she hops out of the tub. So today Kathy and I made her a little fenced in area in the back yard around a tree. We used some chicken wire they had at the house. It’s not huge but it gives her more room than her tub and protects her from Barbara the duck. Plus now she can peck at the ground and enjoy being outside. I will still bring her inside for the nights because Idalia said she’ll get cold out there.

Chelita escaped

Barbara looking at Chelita's new home

Chelita is hiding in the grass

Barbara by her guacal

There's Chelita!

She's getting bigger

Room to walk around

Lunch time

I can see her!

I went for a walk around 4pm to try to wake myself up. I’ve been really tired in the afternoons the past couple days. I’m not sure if it’s because when I have little physical work to do I feel tired or because after a delegation leaves my body is trying to earn back the rest I lost. Probably a bit of both. It was great to be able to spend so much time with the medical delegation. The nurses, doctors, dentists, and other support staff are pretty amazing. I have a much better understanding and appreciation for what they do.

Dinner tonight was fantastic: hard boiled eggs, avocado, and a tortilla. It really hit the spot. Shortly after dinner Blanca mentioned a procession that was happening tonight. It’s in honor of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of Berlín. Basically, people walk around singing and praying alongside a float of Saint Joseph. We left the house around 8pm to join the procession. The route was similar to the one I did last year for the Stations of the Cross. The float that Saint Joseph was on was filled with yellow and white flowers. I could smell the float when we walked close to it. It’s always fun to be a part of religious events like this one, especially because I didn’t get to go to this particular event last year. Before I knew it, it was 9pm and we were walking back to the house.

Shortly after we got back home I heard the church bells ringing and they were setting off fireworks at the church. Idalia and I went up the stairs by the chapel at the Pastoral House to watch the fireworks. They were beautiful and lasted almost 10 minutes. It’s been a fun week of patron saint festivities. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Lots of little shops

Several tents are set up

Food vendors

Playing in the yucca that mom is about to fry

The procession in honor of Saint Joseph

Lots of people attended

Here he comes

It was a beautiful float

Saint Joseph

We were there about an hour

The flowers smelled wonderful


Anonymous said...

Neat little video of the fireworks. Sounds like it was a fun festival. People like to party, don't they! Martha

Matt said...

What a neat festival and procession. I'm glad you got to take part in it all. I like Chelita's new little home.