Unexpected Danger


Girl duckingII

Once again we’ve landed in the middle of a national festival we don’t understand.  This particular holiday celebrates the defeat of the Spanish in a battle on the volcano, Pinchancha, in 1822.

We assumed, wrongly, that the holiday would be on May 24 but it turns out the holiday was actually celebrated on Friday, May 27.  To allow for a long weekend.

Friday evening, having left the music venue and headed home, we found ourselves walking through a thick crowd of people in the plaza.  As the crowd grew almost impossibly thick, I noticed they were all facing the same direction toward a 15-foot-tall structure.  My mind had just observed this and I had just said to Steve, “Do you think something is about to happen?” When the structure exploded with fireworks: whistles and pops, sparks and smoke, cinders, color and light shooting this way and that for fully five minutes.

For Americans from a nanny state where our safety is mandated, we were far, far too close to this eruption.  It went on for about 5 minutes shooting hot cinders and sulfurous smoke in all directions.  We were trapped in a crowd with nowhere to go.  All we could do duck and wait it out hoping that everything went as planned.

When it finally played out.  Dancers in animal costumes came out from somewhere and began dancing around the now tattered structure.

We didn’t stick around after that.  To suddenly find oneself in the middle of a battle you don’t understand, even a recreated battle, is disconcerting. I was vividly remained that I am a foreigner and whatever I think I understand; I am probably wrong.  So keep my eyes open and pay attention.

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2 Responses to Unexpected Danger

  1. Mark Dunn says:

    These things have a name, another of those things I have forgotten, but we have them here too with the same crowds pushing in closer, closer. But these only happen on the big holidays like Dia de Independencia, etc. The one you saw is a great one!!! Thanks for the video. We have gotten so jaded about fireworks although the length and extravagance is always a function of somebody’s budget. I always am amused by the State Department warnings about large public gatherings which sometimes turn out to be manifestations, but they do not have fireworks. Glad you two are out prowling around in the evening! Mark

  2. Domenick Dellino says:

    come to think of it, i’m not sure there was an Ecuadorian Olympic team,,,(so consumed right now).

    thanks for sharing…especially good job on this video and the Maps…i’ll stay tuned!

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