Sunday, December 5, 2010

You're the God of this city...

Quito, luz de America, alma del mundo

This weekend, and on through Monday, are the fiestas de Quito. This week long party celebrates Quito's independence from Spain. It is a time of food, drink, concerts, dancing, parades, plays, and much more. The streets are filled with street vendors and chivas, open air buses that are like moving disco bars. This city parties hard from the young to the old. It has been so interesting to watch how this city comes alive with pride and with spirit.
Yesterday I went to watch the parade near my house. The street was full of people and it was hard to find a good place to stand and watch. The mayor finally arrived and the parade began. Dance groups went by arrayed in different indigenous outfits. Others dressed in garb from the colonial period. School marching bands played some demonstrating an astounding amount of precision and discipline and some seeming chaotic but truly enjoying the music. One school band even played an old Quichua song that I recognized. Men on stilts paraded through...twice (yep, same guys). The Queens from the different cities as well as the newly elected Queen of Quito went by on floats. The police dogs demonstrated their training by doing various tricks. Some jumped on the backs of their masters and sat up to wave at the crowds. Young and old women danced the traditional dances. Men dressed up in outfits that took us back to the time when Quito was an Incan city. The parade was full of life and action...FOUR HOURS of life and action.
My favorite thing in the entire play was a dance routine that rivaled anything from Step Up One, Two,...and is there really a Third (fracaso= fail). In this dance routine their were indigenous dancers. Some with scarves from the city, some dressed as those from the mountain regions, and some dressed like those from the amazon. Each group danced a different dance simultaneously that all followed the same beat. Paired with all of them were break dancers. It was amazing but what it represented the most was the amazing diversity of this country. Not diversity in different peoples from different nations, however, just the diversity of Ecuador itself. It was a clear display of what is so controversial yet so beautiful in this country.
Tomorrow we are going to watch the bullfights which is tradition here in the city of Quito. And I am sure that tonight I will here the chivas go by and here the shouts of "Viva Quito!" (Long live Quito) all throughout the night. I certainly heard those shouts during the parade. City pride is so important for this country. In fact, many might die for their city before their country. People identify by what city they are from. And with all the vitality of this pride yesterday I wished I could say I was quitena. I shouted "Viva Quito" once or twice but the words tasted strange in my mouth. I realized that this is not my city. I am far from home... and I am ready to go back.
So as I sat and prayed with other believers today in church for this huge city of Quito... I also prayed for another city that is constantly on my mind. We begged for God to move in Quito, and I begged for God to move in my city. We asked that God would move our hearts with compassion for the city...I am still asking that God would move my heart and others for the city I cannot wait to get back to.
You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are...
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city...

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