Independence Day activities sometimes start early and they did today in front of the city hall across the corner from my bank which had 20+ people waiting for only one working ATM. Pura vida! I got to watch the dancing while I waited and make a few cell phone photos, though lower quality, zoomed in from a half block away. The people are always as interesting as “the show,” thus two little slideshows which is my substitute for the parade I will miss tomorrow.
All the Schools Prepare for Independence Day Parade
The high school bands have been practicing too with the same monotonous drum beat that it seems all the bands use. Note in the photo above two interesting facts that tell about the culture or a small town: (1) The band director is almost a kid himself, first job out of college as a low-paid music teacher in rural elementary school. (2) All the girls play a xylophone and all the boys play a drum, either snare or bass. 🙂 I regret that I will miss this year’s parade, but I’ve seen it several times! 🙂
My Friday Night Treat
Every Friday night I have my one steak a week at Parrillada Androvetto which has a big platform deck overlooking the surrounding hills and the Public Cemetery above. Tonight the clouds hung low on the hills, but still no rain. Yes, it is now a semi-drought for rainy season. Met a nice young couple at Androvetto from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I like the “Small World” effect of living in Costa Rica!
Whale-Watching Starts Sunday
Sunday morning I fly to Palmar Sur and check in to the Cristal Ballena Hotel in Uvita for the week where I will go Whale Watching on Monday for the first time in my long life and if satisfied (get whale photos) I will use the rest of the week to photo birds and a very special Nauyaca Waterfalls one day. I drove through Uvita on the 2014 Relocation Tour and have flown over its famous “Whale’s Tail Beach” in my photo below from a Carcovado trip.
“Quince de septiembre” (fifteenth of September) is the more common name kind of like “4th of July” is probably used more in the states than “Independence Day.”
There is a nation-wide strike going on in Costa Rica, so it affected some aspects of the parade this year with nothing from the university in parade but all the local and neighboring schools were happy to make it almost a nino parade, which is fine! Today’s post is just some of the bands with other aspects of parade in the next few days. Note that here bands are all dominated by both drums and boys, though more difficult instruments are more likely played by girls. Another day I will show dancing which is almost all girls and so it goes as cultures, femininity and masculinity struggle everywhere, especially in schools. 🙂
Slideshow: School Bands in Atenas Independence Day Parade
It is my new approach to the blog, not putting 12 or more photos for one event, but rather linking to those many cool photos in my online gallery. You will especially enjoy some of the faces in this new photo gallery:
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.
Okay. I’ll stop after this, though there are a lot more photos from the parade that I like. 🙂
I could have made this Faces post all children, but since I used some faces of them in Post 1 (children), and a cool youth face in Post 2 (bands), and another youth face in Post 3 (flags); this is mixed, even with adults.
I’ll go back to bugs and bird tomorrow, but Wednesday I head out for 4 nights in the Talamanca Mountains, so more new stuff then! Maybe a better photo of a Resplendent Quetzal! Then the following week to the Nicaragua border on Visa Run again. And the week after that to the Caribbean again. Never a dull moment! 🙂
And don’t you like the looks of the Atenas Ticos?
Do you not want me to make this photo?
“The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”
Colegio Liceo had the largest group of marching flags led by a Drum Majorette.
When they stopped they had a very intricate presentation of weaving the lines in and out of each other to create a sea of red, white and blue – Colegio Liceo.
As usual I watched the parade from Gelly’s across from Parque Central. Here Colegio Liceo is starting their presentation seen in second photo.
Escuela Central Elementary School did great for younger kids! And they had the coolest caps! Boys and girls marched in separate lines. That’s elementary school for you! 🙂
Colegio San Rafael was led by a drum major.
Though not as large as Liceo, San Rafael had impressive group & show!
Patriotism and color on 15 de septiembre is just as big as US 4th of July! Just no mucho fireworks in Atenas. Another shot of Colegio San Rafael. (There’s a big fireworks show in San Jose. But I like my little farm town!)
Unlabeled School (or I missed the sign) leave our area by the church.
I’m still sorting the 600+ photos from a wonderful nearly 3-hour parade for Independence Day here with lots of bands and flags and children. Tonight I share just a few of my children shots, some in the parade and many watching it. This satisfies what I wanted to photograph in last night’s lantern parade and did not accomplish. Children are so photogenic!
Watching the parade with me at Gelly’s
Representing one of the schools in the parade
Nicole, 6 or 7, is already a drummer in a band! Son of my Spanish teacher, in band I raised $ for.
Some of the dancers weren’t so good, but this group was great, with traditional dancing!
I watched this boy sneak under the railing to sit on curb for closer view!
The red, white & blue traditional dress is most typical for Independence Day and I’ll show adults wearing them another day.
And this is the typical traditional dress for boys and men. I wore a hat like this but no bandanna, just a red, white & blue shirt!
Another traditional dress for 15th of September! All of these are made by parents or a seamstress, you cannot buy them in stores.
And finally, a father-son bonding moment on the parade route. This may be my favorite photo from the parade.
I have lots of photos of a lot of bands and really a lot of flags I’ll share a few of, plus some adult costumes and some “different” things in the parade in future posts.