The Virgin is coming, the virgin is coming…

So you THINK you know the holidays that matter. But Noooo…. Turns out that “La Virgen”, i.e. the appearance of “the virgin”, a.k.a, Virgin Mary, on her altar, is a big deal round these parts. Actually it’s part of the “December Fiestas” that seem to string together to make December an exciting time. For “exciting”, read “loud”.

So the Virgin is making her way through town, one street at a time. Yesterday was one street to our right, tomorrow is one street to our left. She made a cameo appearance on our street, today.
The significance of this for us?: Mango is a WRECK!
Dwayne, the painfully stupid (but lovable) dog personifies the expression “ignorance is bliss”. He is a happy dog. There may be thermo-nuclear warfare down the street, he wouldn’t know. He gets food, he gets walked, he gets affection. He is a happy dog. Not so for Mango. He is aware that there is much afoot. For him, every knock on the door is an opportunity to get a neighborhood update. This week, he is distraught by the sheer number of fire work explosions. In his defense, these are not the “go to the store and buy fireworks made in Beijing”, type fireworks. These are loud as hell, home made mortars. They would work equally well in a scenario that required repelling incoming U.S. tanks as they do for La Virgen celebration. They are loud. They are dangerous. And they are near.
At every blast, Mango must think we are being invaded. Since the Virgen activities are in part nocturnal — last night’s loudest bangs were around 3 am — the surrounding silence and dark of the night makes for a dramatic backdrop. Mango jumps on our bed, shaking. I comfort him. Another bang, he jumps back on the bed. We play this game from 3am to 5am. Finally, I put him in another room. In the morning, he seems literally shell shocked. Today is only December 2 – these celebrations go on till December 7. And then of course is Christmas and New Years. Plenty more bangs then.

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