Friday, September 13, 2013

Getting Ready For The Quince

We are getting ready for a big weekend of celebration.   Guatemala's Independence Day is Sunday.  It is also called the Quince.  It falls on September 15th.  Fifteen in Spanish is "quince".  It is like us calling July 4th simply "the 4th".  The bands have been practicing for months, every town is getting dressed in blue and white, and the people are getting very excited.   Parades are one of the main things they do for their Independence Day.  They also have torch runs that all of the schools participate in.  We have watched the parades and activities every year since we have lived here but this year is a little extra special because Cruz will get to participate.  The kindergarten and preschool children will all have their parade on Saturday and then the older kids will do a parade on Sunday.  They will end the weekend with a program to honor the flag on Sunday evening.  I'll be sure to take lots of photos to share (as if you doubted that).

To celebrate everybody hangs flags and decorates. This year I decided to get in on the decorating and put a few things out around our place. Cruz is getting old enough now to notice and understand. He was pretty excited when he came home from school the other day and saw the balloons and streamers hanging from the windows.

This is outside the boys room.  I put a small flag in each window and also hung a quetzal (the national bird) on the wall.

If you need some crepe paper streamers here you don't just run down to Wal-Mart and buy a roll.  You go down to the local store and buy a large sheet of it and then cut them out yourself. Not near as convenient.

We also purchased a "much larger than we thought it was going to be" Guatemalan flag to hang in our entry.  You can see David had a lot of help getting it hung.

These two want to be right up under us at all times "helping" do whatever it is we are doing.  At times it drives me nuts but I know I'll miss it one day.  Oh how I'll miss it!

our Guatemalan flag

Cruz has been busy at school lately learning a lot about Guatemala.  He knows the colors are blue and white.  He knows the national bird is the Quetzal.  He knows that the national flower is the Monja Blanca.  He knows that the national tree is the Ceiba.  I love that he is learning those things and getting to make lots of crafts about them.
The flag of Guatemala.  The national bird- the Quetzal.  The national flower- the Monja Blanca.  The national tree- the Ceiba.  A map of  Guatemala.

And, as of yesterday we are all learning about Guatemala's national hero- Tecun Uman.

We were informed when we picked Cruz up from school on Thursday that he would need to dress like him for the parade on Saturday.  I had no idea who Tecun Uman was, what he looked like, or how to even begin getting a costume of him together in about 48 hours!  Why, you ask, would our child need that costume?  We were also informed that the boy who has the highest overall grade point average in the preschool/ kindergarten classes gets to dress like the national hero.  The girl dresses like the Monja Blanca.  Cruz has the highest grade of all the other boys.  So, what turned out to be something that frustrated me greatly (because of the short notice) ended up making me happy and proud.  I am working hard on his costume and hoping that it will all come together in time.  Stay tuned...  the results of this one is sure to bring you lots of laughs!

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