...and other things that go bump in the night....
San Juan is a sleepy little town, except for some reason between the hours of 4 AM and 7 AM. If there is one thing that exemplifies a modern Guatemalan celebration (and of course I am an expert after being here all of a month), it is Bombas. Otherwise known as GIANT firecrackers... the kind that us law-abiding Oregon citizens have never seen. These fireworks shoot far up in the air and explode in a house-shaking boom. Every special occassion requires at least 3-4 bombas, usually set off around dawn--and for some reason adjacent to the house we are staying in. Special occassions include...deaths, births, Sunday (they especially like to set them off right outside the church during masses to make sure the parishoners are alert), saints´ days (which seem to come quite often), ANY holiday no matter how small, for no reason in particular, and in celebration of the town winning any sort of regional competition (especially related to marching bands).
Speaking of marching bands, bombas are not the only thing that start at dawn. In preparation for a regional marching band competition, the school band began practicing a two blocks away from us at 5 AM a few weeks back. According to the locals, policemen don´t enforce the noise ordinances if children are involved--and besides the policemen (and the whole town) have great pride in their marching band (which plays routines lifted directly from Drumline the movie). The practice did pay off... the band took second in a regional competition (mind you it was a regional competition of three bands) which was celebrated by firecracker ropes in the street and of course bombas the following morning.
You have probably been thinking for the last few entries, enough of the yakity yak, show me some more pictures. We have taken many but laziness usually trumps the desire to load them up to the web. I´ll be working to get some up soon!