Thursday, April 23, 2009

Super Sunday

This is a big week. Bigger than I originally anticipated, actually. Sunday, April 26th is the big election. Initially, I thought it was just the election for mayor of Cuenca. Then I found out it's for the mayors of every city in the country, as well as the assembly members. And recently I've also been informed that it's also the election for president of the country. So basically, a lot is on the line for Sunday.

As happens with the elections down here, a ban on alcohol and consumption will go into effect this weekend and last until after the vote, probably to deter any alcohol-election-related violence and protests. Anyone seen with alcohol or drunk will be arrested. I'm thinking about leaving Cuenca for the weekend and going to a small town called Zaruma, about 6 hours away. It seems as though half of the friends I have here are actually from Zaruma, and I've heard good things. Especially about their traditional dish called "tigrillo," which is a plantain, egg, and cheese.

With so much on the line, it could be a really interesting weekend, if for nothing else than to see how the politics of another country play out. The last time there was an election here it was for the amendment of the constitution, which was passed with sweeping numbers. I'm not sure what people are really for on this election. But I know that everyone seems to have a side.

It's possible that there could be strikes or protests, but I'm really not too concerned about that. We're getting Friday and Monday off from the university because students need to travel back home so they can vote. Voting is compulsory for everyone over 18, except for the military. But a lot of students here are registered in other parts of the country and need to return home. So we get another 4 day weekend.

In the meantime, today is also a big day because the Boca Juniors from Argentina are playing Deportivo Cuenca here in Cuenca. I've already written about the process it was to get the tickets, and hopefully it will be a good game to remember. I'm not sure if the sale of alcohol will be banned before or after the game, but either way the ban will definitely make things interesting. It seems as though most people aren't going to the game in the hopes of seeing Cuenca win, but rather in seeing such a great team as Boca. Boca is, after all, one of the best soccer clubs in South America, and maybe the world.

The game is for a tournament that Cuenca somehow made its way into, and some people have told me that to lose by even 1 goal would be almost like a victory for Cuenca. An interesting state of mind. It's time to get ready for a big game.

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