Saturday, November 26, 2011

Compare and contrasts in Loja

In writing this post I feel like the student who has been told to compare and contrast a subject and the subject has more contrast than comparisons. At this point I can think of only a few comparisons. Both countries love sports. One loves fut ball or soccer the other football. Both can be dangerous games, when the spectators get riled. Both have political parties which can also be dangerous when the spectators get riled. The people in both countries need to know the Gospel.

In Loja the people love fiestas or celebrations. There is one going on most weekends. They have a fascination with fireworks especially late at night any night. I am not talking about small fireworks but the kind you may see at a fourth for July celebration. I think all the schools in Loja have marching bands and the main instrument is the drum. You are able to tell what school a child goes to as all are required to wear uniforms. There are shops on every corner that make the uniforms.

As you walk down the narrow sidewalks you will see girls walking arm and arm, mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, I have seen many young men walking arm and arm with their mothers or grandmothers. Friendship, affection and respect are shown in many ways here. Meal time is not a rushed affair. Almuerzo or lunch is a time of fellowship with friends and family. In Loja businesses and schools close from 1 to 3 for Almuerzo and siesta.

You may be on your way to a meeting but a family member or friend sees you on the street it is only polite to stop and fellowship with each other. I think we might have a custom like this but it is only done in Walmart or the grocery aisles on a Friday nite or Saturday in the States. This may explain why all meetings start late. It is not polite to show up to a invitation to a party or dinner on time. When you do show up you greet all with a kiss. You greet everyone in the room individually. This can make the meet and greet time at church a little lengthy. You speak in a different pronoun to those who are not family and friends to show respect.

In the States when you greet or you are greeted, it is usually short and sweet. Hi how are you, Fine and you We need to get together for lunch sometime. Good to see you bye. Let's get together for lunch sometime.

In Loja Hola! than you air-kiss on cheek, Como Esta? Buen y usted? Bien. Where are you from. How do you like it here in Loja? Where does your family live? How is your family? Where are you working now? Come join us for lunch. After lunch or 20 or more minutes later you say ciau and the other may say, The party is at my house tonight see you there.