Saturday, April 12, 2008

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia: The Last Two Days

In the center of town is a city-blocked size park with benches, people eating ice cream ignoring the homeless, and gorgeous palm trees. It seemed that everywhere we want to walk, the directions start with, "Go up to the park." Click on the photos for full size images.


The Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo weighs down one side of the park with it's massive brickwork from the 1600's.

As we approach the church doors, I see a blind man in a wheelchair. Just barely cupped, his palm lies on his lap facing the heavens in hope that someone will help. He reminds me of my grandfather in that he's obviously well kept and tries to hold his back as straight as possible. His shoulders are just barely bent over. I wonder what time his keeper comes for him. Does someone come out from the church to give him a snack or a drink?


On Sunday morning, we leave the hotel after a breakfast of fruit and cookies. Cookies? We finally realize why everyone's been weaving palm fronds. It's Palm Sunday.


Now they are lining the streets with their weavings and some have wheelbarrows full of Easter candy. This is a celebration of phenomenal proportions.


Two blocks from the church we come upon thousands of people in a procession. The ones in front have a cross draped with white cloth. They're singing and walking. And then it happens. The goober with the cross gets it tangled. The priest with the red sash has to come extricate Jesus from the wires. The singing STOPS. I'm sure God laughed even if they didn't.




The procession passes and we continued our walk around the city. Nothing is open. Good thing we're headed home tonight. A day early, but I've learned enough for one trip.

15 comments:

Akelamalu said...

More great photos. I felt sorry for the men carrying the cross in the video clip, but I can just imagine God having a chuckle to him/herself! :)

Dana said...

You catch such emotion in your photos, my favorite being the blind man in a wheelchair.

What a trip! Thank you for sharing it with us!!

Jay said...

Being in a little village like that on Palm Sunday would be really cool. Just sitting back watching all the ceremonies is fascinating.

And if you can't laugh at Jesus getting the cross tangled in some wires what can you laugh at. ;-)

katy said...

now i am all welled up with tears as i have just read the ignoring homeless link.
the church is beautiful, hope the blind man wasn't left on his own too long

BostonPobble said...

Apparently Bolivia needs to be on my list of must-see places. Thanks for sharing!

Jeff B said...

It's been fun to see your trip through the camera's eye and your words. thanks

Fu Manchu Dad said...

I can see two of the pics this time, but your words more than fill in the blanks. I have thoroughly enjoyed the trip vicariously through you and I can see how much you enjoyed it. Congratulations on a great trip and a great job blogging it!

Take Care,
FMD

buffalodickdy said...

Next year they will hold try-outs for the cross carrying team...

Palm Springs Savant said...

wow the fun photos never end! Great video of the procession too

Aunt Jackie said...

What a lovely trip it seems... great photos! Hey btw: I think your new profile photo is very nice!

Just popping through, catching up.

Amorous Rocker said...

Seems like it was a nice trip. Those are some wonderful pictures!

Matt-Man said...

Great pics once again. I am glad that Christ got untangled. Cheers!!

Fortune Cookies said...

I'm packing myself into your suticase - next trip you take ;)
Palm Sunday must have been a real treat! Phenomenal photos girl!

Gabriel said...

Great pictures. Bolivia has some kind of magic that has attracted me for ages. I've been close to it (North of Argentina) but never got to go there. But there's time... though it would have been much easier while I was still living in Argentina! :-)

Freakazojd said...

Wow - some real highs & lows in this post in terms of emotional content.
I'm gonna keep it light and just say that as soon as I read "wheelbarrows full of Easter candy" I was lost. Hopelessly and blissfully lost. ;)