Quien causa tanta alegria!!!! What is the cause of our happiness
La Concepcion de Maria!!!! The Conception of the Virgen Maria.
Tuesday is the Purissima, Most Pure day, the day of the Immaculate Conception, so on Monday everyone, especially the children, goes out shouting. Houses and churches set up their own altars and the kids go round shouting Quien causa tanta alegria? The owners give them sweets, cakes, bread and say La Concepcion de Maria. So long as you do it at 100 decibels there is no problem. It happens in all the churches as well and everyone joins in, one church insisted on giving me bread and local sweets to try when I was just watching.
It is very big in Leon, think Halloween (US style) and multiply it several hundred times. It all kicks off at 6pm, so I visit some of the shrines before it starts:
and the Gigantonas arrive to stand just in front of the cathedral, nine of themin all. Ready to party.
the service inside the church is being broadcast and the bishop makes his way to the door as we get close to six.
quien causa tanta alegria!!!!, sings the bishop
la concepcion de Maria!!!! answers the crowd
Viva Maria, Viva Maria, Viva Maria,
and at the stroke of 6pm the bishops start the celebration, the fireworks start, the gigantonas start to dance like mad women and everyone shouts and dances. A whole night of partying, going from house to house to shout and get goodies. And the fireworks………
after some time the gigantonas leave the square
and we have more fireworks
It lasts for ages. I sat down and talked to a girl from Luxembourg. She was bewildered and had no idea what was going on. then off to a church, where they fed me, and on to see people going from house to house and the long queues at the many shrines where rice and beans were being given out. Everyone was outside and the party was everywhere.
The fireworks stopped some time after 1am, long after my bed time. The next morning the town was up and running at 6am as usual, a little tidying up to do, but the main square was clear and clean by 6.30 when I arrived and everywhere else was back to normal soon after.
It was a quiet morning, most people recovering. A holiday so most places were shut, but the markets began to open and gradually it seemed to be like a quieter day, but still busy. I got the buses back home. they were packed with people returning to Managua. Even more with transport had headed to the beach.
Back to work on Wednesday. I had an inportant meeting with the Accountant. I hoped that he had posted the accounts and we could review the year to October. He wsa not quite as advanced as I had hoped, so we started posting and agreed on teh final inputs for November. Hopefully on Friday I would see more.
More time to analyse the contracts and put together summaries that will mean no longer photocopying whole contracts. And to talk the members of the Management Committee through the several pages of Financial Tasks, (daily, weekly, monthly, annual and general) that now form the accounting manual) for REN.
Friday comes, but Edwin is still not far enough advanced for me to see the final accounts. HE is progressing, but not as quickly as I had hoped. We plan another meeting for Monday and I work on some of the AfID paperwork regarding my assignment. It is obvious that I wil not finish all the work that I had hoped and another person will need to help with budgeting, so lots of notes to produce.