Sunday, December 26, 2010

Twas the Day After Christmas...

The week of Christmas has flown by with so many new experiences blended with the familiar it is hard to know where to begin. 

All events in Ecuador are celebrated with firecrakers, and not little ones but big ones that seem to rock the house sometimes.  Iggy is not a lover of that kind of noise and has found a safe place to retreat to when the noise begins.  Well actually, it can happen any time of the day or night and any day of the week!  I have no idea what it is all about but Christmas was celebrated with many loud cracks of firecrakers that's for sure well into the wee hours of the morning Christmas day.

Wednesday the 23rd an evening of caroling was hosted at the California Kitchen with an old fashioned sharing of cookies brought by everyone who came. The hardier then went to the Parque Calderon and sang carols for the Cuencanos . . . we took the cab home but not before eating way tooo many great cookies.

As you will read on many of the blogs we follow the biggest celebration of Christmas is the the festival of the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Nino Viajero on December 24. It’s an all day affair, with a parade that illustrates the journey of Joseph and Mary. Led by the guiding star, and accompanied by angels, the Three Kings, officials, shepherds and huge numbers of costumed children. There are floats illustrating religious themes as well as the principal float carrying the Niño Viajero, borne by clerics. Along with the religious nature of the procession, there is also the native influence. Horses and llamas, carrying local produce, chickens and sweets march together with musicians, creating a rich, colorful and musical display.  Jack was not able to stand for the parade so we took a bus to our favorite pizza place, La Fornace on Solano.  The pizza is cooked on a wood fired oven It was great!  On the way home, again by bus, the traffic was stopped by the parade so we got to see some of it anyway!
Christmas day was filled with preparation for the dinner we hosted.  The turkey was barely able to fit in the oven weighing in at 19.8 pounds! 

While the turkey cooked a small parade passed by our house on the way to the church.

It was a great time with lots of food and fellowship with our new friends in this new land.   On the surface it appeared to be a true American dinner, but the sweet potatoes Sue fixed were  purple and there are no pumpkins so Rachel and I used a local squash call zapallo for "pumpkin" pie and "pumpkin" cheese cake and the uninformed were none the wiser!

Our Feast

Alfredo, Noshy, and Jack

Jim and Rachel, Jim and Debby, back of Bev 
Noshy on Cleanup duty

Sara, Gary and Sue, Alfredo and Noshy and Jack
One of my gifts included this parrot plant on my window sill and a beautiful arrangement.

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas and that the New Year is filled with peace and love.

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