Saturday, Dec 10, 2016
In El Centro the Christmas lights are up and we haven’t seen them yet. We thought Kelly (Chase’s friend) would enjoy a lighted up El Centro so we all headed into town to take them in.
As I’ve said before I am almost 100% unconscious of the Christmas season. For the most part I can go through my day without the holiday assault on my senses. It is such an incredibly different experience here than in the States.
Some of the stores are decorated with garland or a have a Christmas tree in them. Nothing over the top. Some stores are “Christmas” stores and are packed with decorations. I only see this as I walk by from the street.
In Coral there is an area set up with bins of wrapped Christmas candy. There is a huge Christmas tree at the landing area of the stairs. On the tops of the shelves filled with normal merchandise, there are gift bags with holiday designs scattered around as decorations. Christmas music does play throughout the store and most of it is in English, which is still a mystery to me. Overall the whole presentation is sedate.
One of the cool Christmas light displays around El Centro are the lights hanging over and running along the Tomebamba river. The lights display the ripples of the river and the life of people who depend on it. Remember, these are “Christmas” lights. No stacked presents, no reindeer and Santa’s sleigh. It is an interesting take on what the focus is for people here.
Since Ecuador is largely Catholic, saints and angels are a big deal here. In Otorongo plaza a large nativity has been built. It is stunning really as a Christmas light display.
The area around Parque Calderon was lit and festive. The streets around the Cathedral had festive lights strung across them. Notice what is displayed in the Christmas lights that banner across the streets. In the center picture below is a “fireworks tower” which is popular here to build and light-off during all holidays. It also depicts the sweet treats that are popular to give the children. The other banners emphasize music and flowers.
The trunks of the large fir trees in the center of the square were wrapped in colorful light. Heidi and I had a pic taken together
And of course the holiday pics are not complete without the family gathering around the Christmas tree.
Kelly enjoyed her night and light tour of the city. All the walking around left us hungry and we decided (after a couple false starts) to have dinner at Mayu. It had an active vibe, great food, and nice place for all of us to enjoy hanging out together.