This week marked a series of celebrations around Peru for their Independence Day from Spanish rule. Celebrations essentially last three days for the country, Monday-Wednesday. Monday was the big celebration, and we went to one of the local parades in Pitumarca. Our primary intention was just to see the parades, but we knew that there was a chance we would march too, as many communities participate in the parade to show the projects they are working on with the municipality. Naturally our project for EWB fell in this category. So near the end of the parades through the town plaza, we lead the community down the main street as part of their project.
The unexpected thing happened after the parades. During the parades, we were sitting in the bleachers right by the main street, and we saw the mayor and some other important government people pass by us and they greeted us as they saw us (I kind of stand out as the only white person there). Well afterwards, we were invited into a small auditorium in the government complex because they were having a small service for the community leaders, key municipality members, etc. So we entered and intended to sit about midway up the seat of chairs. We were stopped. And ushered onto the stage to sit with the mayor and other key members. Unexpected to say the least. The service consisted of a few short speeches, a excerpt reading of their consitution, a toast, and a small meal.
Overall the day took a few unexpected turns. It was reassuring to see the community and municipality value our presence, as there were many times that seemed in question with the difficulties they gave us.
Not sure if I explained that terribly clearly, but it’ll have to do. I’ve spent all day trying to get a pump to work and I’m tired.
Until next time.