Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Que Viva La Reina!

Not even hail storms and power outages could keep the people of Rumiloma away from the election of the Queen of Rumiloma last Friday. After making friends with the new town President, Luis Ñacata, Manna Project was invited to participate in this important event and I was invited to sit on the judging board! I must admit that although I have been living here for 2 and a half years I have never had the privilege of participating in a queen election and I really had no idea what to expect. I definitely didn't expect to be sitting at the judging table from 7pm to 12:30am but hey... this is Ecuador!

The 11 candidates for Reina de Rumiloma were judged on their casual wear, a traditional outfit, formal wear, their overall presentation and their answer to one important question about the future of their town. The coolest part for me was seeing all the familiar faces of community members and library regulars cheering on their favorite queens. Since Rumiloma is not a very big place, it seemed like all the candidates were sisters, cousins, daughters, friends, and neighbors of someone that I knew from the community center. The highlight for me was seeing Isaac, a library regular and one of my personal favorites, accompany his older sister on stage and dance behind her wearing a "traditional outfit" of one of Ecuador's Amazonian tribes.

The candidates were asked questions about personal values and role models and also about important topics such as how to tackle bullying and alcoholism in their community. The winner will serve as an ambassador and representative of Rumiloma at important events during the next year. She is to also serve as a role model for the community. I am hoping we can get her to make an appearance at our library 5th anniversary party in March!

Unfortunately the photos didn't come out great... the lighting was borrowed via extension cords from the next block over and the weather was dark and rainy. Here are a few anyways:

 All of Rumiloma came out to see who would be their future reina
 Not sure the Incans really dressed like that...
 A DJ kept us entertained while the girls changed outfits
 The beautiful candidates in their formal wear
The fate of Rumiloma rests on my shoulders! Thats me in the middle judging away

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