Happy 4th of July!
Yeah, while all you ‘Mercans are getting ready to feast on turkey, we are feeling like it’s 4th of July down here with the fireworks. I don’t know the full story but it goes something like this….
Santa Catalina is the patron saint of Pedasi. I think she protects the sea or brings luck to the fisherman or something like that. She’s very important to everyone here. To celebrate her they have a 9-day celebration that involves mass every day. They have been making nice improvements to the church like painting and planting trees and putting on pretty new lights. And they’ve been having lots of extra people at church including the school kids in uniform and what looks like the entire town judging from the town square. Zoe and Haley found out there is no school today so they are loving Santa Catalina now as well.
Our cook Marta told us that at the end of the 9 days there would be a lot of fireworks. I brushed it off because there have been fireworks every night, which is only slightly different from every other day of the year (Panamanians LOVE fireworks). They even set off fireworks in the middle of mass, about 4 feet from the church. There’s no wrong time for fireworks, according to Panamanians.
Anyway, I knew that yesterday was day 9 so I should have been prepared but you just don’t know what you don’t know. Around 10 p.m. the fireworks started. And they kept going and going and going. They are about a block away from our house and I’m sure if we had gone down there people would be standing within a few feet of where they are lighting them. There’s no safety standards here.
The fireworks were not just these quaint little colors going up one at a time. They were BIG and LOUD and going up in groups. They probably went on non stop for about 20-25 minutes, but it feels like several hours when you are 1) trying to sleep and 2) feeling like you are under attack because they are almost literally right over your house and 3) moving out of your house soon so most of your bookcases and rugs are out of the house making it echo. Good times.
Oh, and there’s a parade today. Of course. Thankfully the baton twirlers were not invited. Now I love Santa Catalina too.
Lest you think the month of holidays is over, just you wait! There’s one more holiday at the end of this week celebrating independence from Spain. The girls are happy yet again because it means another day off school. So Happy Santa Catalina and Happy Independence from Spain and Happy Fireworks!
Here is a video Dan took from our front yard.