The Independence Day Parade or Quince de setiembre desfile (like the U.S. 4th of July). I’m presenting a few of my photos in three posts: Post 1-adult/university, Post 2-teen/high-school, and Post 3-children/primary.
Most of this post is of ADULT & COLLEGE STUDENT PARADE PARTICIPANTS
Literally thousands of Costa Rican flags were in the 2.5 hour parade with every band, school, organization, etc.
These three boys and the grandmother with small child were directly across from me during the whole parade, so in other photos too.
Ladies in traditional dress on truck/float for one of the two Adult Continuing Education Universities nearby.
The farmer’s university had beautiful traditional dancers in pairs dancing down the street which was beautiful!
One of the above dancers up close. This is the only time of year you can see the traditional clothing/dancing.
Even small universities have bands!
Seldom see a sax in a high school band
With trumpets being a little more common.
All ages are training in farming and livestock raising.
Atenas is full of beautiful, friendly, and smart people!
Young cowboys everywhere love to show off!
And I couldn’t settle on just one roping photo!
This reminds me of my days at Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma where we had ropers instead of baton twirlers leading our marching band. And our ball teams were called the “Will Rogers Ropers!” There 1955-58.
Some of these young adults are the future of the farms surrounding Atenas! It is a town about the size of Warren, AR where I was born, very rural, but also just an hour from the capital, so more of a “bedroom community” for the city than my little birthplace farming town. Atenas is known for its coffee while Warren for its tomatoes and pine trees!
Tomorrow’s Post: Portraits of a Parade: Teenagers or the high school bands, etc. Following Day: Portraits of a Parade: Children – everyone’s favorite, saved for last! After That: Maybe several days of photos from my trip to the southern Caribbean town of Manzanillo
And by then I should have my new computer, ordered Friday from a warehouse in San Jose and hopefully in and functioning with my all my files and programs by Monday evening, but typically things take longer here. 🙂 Unitec Computacion, the local computer store I ordered through said it would take at least a full day to transfer everything from my old computer to new one. More about the computer later and why I hate America’s Best Buy Store and their Japanese-made Asus Computer. In short, the processor was overheating and it had nothing to do with the fans. It can be ordered and replaced but the hard drive is damaged and cannot be fixed thus I would also need a new hard drive and on my Tamarindo trip I broke the glass on the screen which cannot be replaced but the entire screen must be replaced. Better to get a new computer and I’m trying solid state this time which hopefully will mean fewer problems. I’ll tell about the new one when I get it. Most available computers here have Spanish keyboards built in, so I had limited choices with English keyboard. I’m not quite ready for the Spanish keyboard yet, maybe next time! 🙂
FIRST FREE BUS RIDE!
Wednesday I did some errands in Alajuela and returned the rent car at airport there, then rode the bus back to Atenas. For the first time it was gratis! Free! For longer trips I will have to pay something but at a good discount! It pays to be old and have the Gold Card here!
And for those readers thinking of moving to Costa Rica, here’s an article about PriceSmart, our version of Costco or Sam’s Club in the states. It is where Gringos go for American products along with Walmart and a supermarket call Automercado. Of course all American products are more expensive here because of the import tax.
Today I took a last minute trip with the Atenas Community Band (Banda) to Puntarenas, the port city on the Pacific side. They were celebrating a local political hero with a parade that had bands from all over the country. I road with the band on the charter bus (and paid my share of bus cost), then watched them get ready and watched most of the parade with many bands, most made up of almost all drums. I’ve been told that is because most schools can’t afford to hire teachers to teach how to play other instruments, nor afford the instruments. All the drums belong to the schools or community bands, not the kids. Anyway, it was a nice parade even if not as colorful as 15th of September Parade. I made lots of photos that I no longer have.
At least Nicole enjoyed his “Churchill,” a slushy with ice cream! Can you imagine that?
A group of 6 of us went to eat at a beach-side cafe where I absent-mindedly laid my camera bag (backpack) on the concrete floor behind my chair next to the sidewalk. We ate, visited, and had a good time together. As we got up to leave I realized my backpack was gone, easily grabbed by someone walking by. I should know better! As someone suggested, I paid my “Gringo Tax” or more accurately my “Stupid Tax.” I did feel stupid, but also a little empty, violated, hurt, and helpless. We told a foot patrol policia who just told us we had to go down to headquarters to file a report and the bus was leaving in 15 minutes. Nothing else to do.
With no cameras beyond my cell phone, I cancelled my Monzanillo Bird Watching trip (which I had thought about doing anyway with my busy schedule and expenses) and will use the money saved to help buy a single new camera and a better lens that I have been wanting anyway. But it will cost a whole lot more here, whether purchased locally or on internet with import taxes. Maybe the duty free shop in Nicaragua will have a good deal tomorrow, but I doubt it. And in the mean time I honestly feel sorry for the thief, who must live a hard life. Does he give any thought to the person he robs? He can’t think very well of himself!
Tomorrow early I leave for Nicaragua border to renew my visa. G’night!
He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life . . .Proverbs 29:24
Though the volume made you think there were more, there were only 4 full-size bands in the parade and they were mostly drums, since there are few teachers or classes for other instruments. They were scattered throughout the parade with several small ensembles in-between, like 3 to 8 persons with multiple instruments. There were more flag bearers than band members. Bands are bandas in Spanish.
Banda Escuela de Musica is a community band for all ages (child-adult) that meets, learns and practices after school. It includes my Spanish teacher, his son and son’s nanny, and another friend. I help raise money for their Panama trip. Notice, like others, they are now all drums except for 2 saxophones and 3 xylophones called marimbas here.
I like their spiffy uniform shirts which they are wanting to replace with “real” uniforms sometime. It is a community activity requiring donated money not easily obtained.
It is an after-school, community music school that teaches how to read music, how to play other instruments when they can be obtained, and the band will add more instruments over time as they can. It could become big in Atenas.
Banda de Colegio San Rafael is a suburban high school smaller than Liceo but sharper looking uniforms. All drums because of lack of music teachers.
Ticos teens like to dress sharp and appreciate cool hats!
Banda de Colegio Liceo is the largest from the largest school with golf shirts as uniforms and again mostly drums because of few music teachers.
All drummers are cool and since nearly all of the band are drummers . . . Boy! My band director would never have allowed sunglasses! 🙂 So maybe this is why Ticos are the happiest people on earth!?
They are followed by and overshadowed by the largest troop of flag bearers in the parade, also a part of Colegio Liceo. More flag photos tomorrow!
By now you may have learned that high schools are called “Colegio” in Spanish in Costa Rica. If not, that is your new Spanish word for today! 🙂
Unknown school with 8 boys on drums – what I was calling an “ensemble.”
Escuela Central Elementary School As with the others, mostly drums with a few marimbas (xylophones); smaller and less organized than high school bands.