Saturday, December 17, 2011

quito day 2011

Quito Day was December 6 and a good portion of the school day was dedicated to its celebration.
The Spanish classes put on all the festivities and the kids all participated.  I was at the school almost the entire day since the festivities were broken up by grades and we have kids in each section.  A long day, but a good day.
First up was K - 3rd grade.
Before we explore this too deeply, let me take you back to the morning of, back at home, getting ready for school.  Actually, we need to go back further than that....
About two days prior (and let me just state that having two days notice for something is cause for celebration around here.... it more-often-than-not is about 2 hours notice) we received some emails stating that the kids needed to wear either a blue or red shirt and blue jeans.  So that morning I try to get Lucy to wear just that (it wasn't much of an issue with the others).  She told me that she was supposed to wear a blue or red shirt, jeans and a fancy dress.  
I'm not sure how that would work....   But she insisted on the dress part.  Well, since I received said email, I was pretty insistent on the shirt and jeans part.  In the end, we both lost - we didn't have a red or blue top for her, so she wore one with purple and blue (blue and red do make purple, right?) and jeans.
Well, I walk her to her classroom and there are all her classmates dressed in their very finest.  Boys in white dress shirts and girls in their fanciest dresses.  Aurgh!  Lucy bursts into tears - joined quickly by the one other girl whose family also received the wrong email, who was also in jeans and a shirt.  I try to comfort both girls who are sobbing and sobbing.  All their friends are twirling around them in their sparkly dresses, completely oblivious to the pain of their classmates.  Swell.
The show did go on.
They sang "Yo Soy El Chullita Quiteño" and did a fabulous job.

Earlier - like just a few minutes ago - I lied.  I said "the kids all participated...."  Not true....
See that blond hair?  That would be Cade.  That would be Cade not participating while his class is performing their bit.
Cade is not one for the stage....  Lets just leave it at that.
After the kids performed, they had a puppet show that was really good.  
The kids were all busting up over whatever was going on.  My Spanish was a little too limited - although  this was also combined with me sitting further back and the sound was pretty quiet and muddled.  I still had a great time watching all the kids have a great time.
After this, all the kids went outside and had some activities.  With this too, I had no idea what was going on, although I didn't try to understand at all.  One look at the lady leading Lucy's group and my internal giggling (combined with a little "en serio?" "seriously?") took over.  The picture just doesn't do her costume justice.
Cade's group got to jump rope which he fully participated in.
Then it was Mia's turn.

Her group sang the same song that Lucy's did.  I didn't stay for a whole lot more though, since I needed an hour or so at home.  But they too, naturally, did a fabulous job.
Now the words to the song may not mean much to you, but I am going to put them in here anyway - lets just say its for posterity sake....

Yo Soy El Chullita Quiteño
Yo soy el chullita quiteño
La vida me apso encantado, 
Para mi todo es un sueño,
Bajo este, mi cielo amado.

Las lindas chiquillas quiteñas,
Son dueños de mi corazón,
No hay mujeres en el mundo
Como las de mi canción.

La Loma Grande y La Guarague
Son todos barrios tan queridos
De mi gran ciudad,
El Panecillo, La Plaza Grande
Ponen el sello inconfundible de su Majestad.

Chulla quiteño,
Tú eres el dueño
De este precioso
Patrimonio nacional
Chulla quiteño
Tú constituyes
También la joya
De este Quito Colonial.

In the afternoon there was a dog show for middle and high school.  It was done with military dogs.
The first good half hour was basically showing how the dogs could (or couldn't, in some cases) stay in various situations.  If I run away, the dog stays, if I walk away, the dog stays, if I make the dog lie down and then walk away, the dog stays and even if I make the dog smell something good and walk away with it, the dog will still stay.  Incredible.
Then they did a few drills of "see, my dog can pick out my hat and bring it back to me".  Fascinating.
Okay, but they did finally do some fun stuff....  Walking zig-zaggy through legs, jumping up on their masters' backs,
....head stands and jumping through legs...
rescuing someone tied up with a very thin rope/ribbon....
and jumping through hoops.
They even attacked the bad guy with the stick.
After the have-me-at-the-edge-of-my-seat dog show, it was time for the middle school/high school Spanish classes performances.
They had various classes go through the history of Ecuador/Quito.  I'm not going to explain this all right now though, I'm too tired and need to go to bed.  Maybe next year.....
I will say that there was a whole lot of some kind of wood burned (for incense) that day - like in this part of the drama.  Very very strong.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of this poor girl's face as she walked in with this pot burning and the smoke pouring into her face.
Maddy's part was dancing.  She was not delighted.  I only got this picture because I video taped most of it instead.  I'll have to try to get that on here at some point.  It mostly involved moving hips back and forth.
Some priests, which resemble the purple KKK were there as well.  I still haven't learned what the significance of the purple robes and cone-heads are.  I've asked a few times, but apparently I haven't asked the right people.

The show was complete with a bull fight - which they have several days of around Quito Day.  Have yet to see one of those, but I kind of want to even though it may be rather yucky.  I just want to experience some of the culture that way.
If I ever do, I promise I'll turn my head if anything gory happens.

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