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Friday, February 14, 2014

Sand Castles!

If you read my last post, you'll remember that we just had a really bad freak wind storm slam into our neighborhood, Thursday night, bringing havoc. My electricity and phone were cut off until the next day Friday 1:30 Pm. Others got their power on much later, about 3:30. Friday was still rainy and windy and so no repairs could be expected that day. Saturday, was the first day that I could get my solar hot water heater repaired. The man said he would show up at 4PM that evening to install the 4 new solar tubes.

Saturday morning, January 25th. after making my phone call to the solar guy, I was thinking about all of the debris in my neighborhood and wondering if the fallen trees blocking my street would be removed in time to allow the repair man to travel up it. I decided to wash the breakfast dishes. I like having a window above my kitchen sink so that I can look out at the world while washing the dishes. My view through the kitchen window is extra special since I can see the water and the beach through it.

Thinking about the fallen trees, I noticed through my window a large group of people on the beach working in unison and standing in a single file, passing black buckets of sand to each other, fireman style. I wondered if some flooding had occurred and whether they were filling sand bags to shore up some river bank? So I decided to grab my camera and I went down to investigate. Imagine my surprise to see some new flags and banners erected notifying everyone that the First Sand Castle Festival for Marindía was being held!

The group of people were in fact passing sand buckets to each other, not for a disaster but for the sand works. So in the midst of a storm cleanup, the community went ahead and had some preplanned fun.
I now used my camera to take photos of the work. I realized that, it might be better to come back later in the day to see some of the finished projects, so I did just that.

Everyone was welcomed to join in from Professionals down to children. They even had white printed Tee-shirts for the participants to wear to commemorate the date.

I was impressed with the variety of sand art, not only were there castles but also animals, sea life and well, I'll just have to show you what there was. The above picture is of José and his Dolphin sand creation. He said that this was the very first time he has ever done a sand piece. So the first sand festival meets it's first time ever participant. I was impressed with the scale of his piece.

Next, I saw a professional piece. Louis and his partner Matheo did an ambitious piece from a Greek mythology. The Titan "Prometheus" is chained to the ground in perpetual torment while an eagle eats his liver (over and over again). Well wow, what a subject. Since we were speaking in Spanish, I didn't have the wherefore all to ask why they came up with that subject. The last photo of the 4, shows a chain he sculpted out of sand on the wrist.

I am glad that I saw the Prometheus piece and the above "Otter", by Alejandro Arce, when I did because some neighborhood dogs ran by and jumped into them later. A teenage girl had brought them down unleashed. I actually recognized the dogs and tried with several others to catch them but the pup got away. I told the girl (whom I didn't recognized) later as she was walking by my house that the sand artists were irritated with her dogs. She asked why.  I explained how they were ruining the pieces, she just shrugged. She was clueless. I think she was just a visiter for the summer because the adult owners of the dogs are real sweeties and as nice as can be, they wouldn't have allowed the dogs to do that.

I think this next photo is of an "Aardvark", an African mammal that eats ants. The tail was well done in my opinion. Looking up the beach in these photos you can also see how low key this Sand Castle event was. It was spread out with no set rules.

The above sand "Sea monster" was really cool! It's tentacles were sticking up from the sand quite away, aways from it. Behind the monster there was a fat bosomed women being captured by a rear tentacle. I choose that photo of the lady instead of a closeup because in the background you can see my house and 2 of my next door neighbors' houses from this beach.

For this next piece of sand art, I didn't get a chance to meet the artist but his mother ( in a red coat) was sanding guard over her son's creation. She said his name was Isaac. He had done a "Sea turtle" nesting on land. What was so unique about that peace was the back of the turtle laying eggs. It showed the eggs coming out. Wow, how graphic and detailed!

The next very professional endeavor was by a deaf couple. I have several friends who are studying sign language. From them I have learned that sign language in Spanish is different from American sign language ASL. When I was a teen, I tried learning a little bit but I'm not very coordinated and I don't seem to be that great at foreign languages. So I left the couple in peace knowing that I couldn't really say anything but I smiled a lot. I don't know what their theme was about? Two sand people looked to be making out or having sex while another sand person was nearby. It seemed to be an epic like scene from the east or India, maybe some karmasutra poses? The 3rd sand person had octopus tentacle like arms. There should have been signs for all of the participants with the name of their creations and their own names. Just a suggestion.

Next, I saw some faces! The first surprised me, it was the face of "George Washington", then I saw a creepy "Skull", then a "Head hunter" type face with bone and then an "Artistic funky face".

One of the most fitting sand sculptures for Uruguay, is one that I almost walked right past. It wasn't until I went by it again for a second time that the light bulb went on in my head. I took another look at it and then I clearly saw it, for what it was, a "Hot water thermos and Mate set". The sand gourd cup was filled with sand yerba. How clever! Scrolled in the sand was a title. "Made in Uruguay". The "Pyramid and Sphinx" was cute and clever. I saw on a Facebook site that I missed seeing a tennis shoe and another great sand castle. The "Dinosaur" reminded me that kids were encouraged to participate and create something too.

Since this was all done by the sea, of course, some "Star fish" and sea creatures were represented too.
An "Octopus", another "Turtle" and a "Gecko". I then went home and my solar heater was fixed.

The next day Sunday, I was again looking out through my kitchen window (snooping), and I saw a group of people seemingly bowing to the sea and then raising their hands toward the sky in praise. Well, I grabbed my binoculars this time and saw that it was instead a yoga class being taught at the beach (around 10am.) So I waddled back down to the beach and found out that the Sand Castle event was going on for a second day! It was held January 25th and 26th; Saturday and Sunday. That's why I have included so many photos in this post.  I was then beckconed by some neighbors from my very street to see what my street's neighbors had made.  Two houses had gotten together to work on this. They let me stand inside the circle and take the picture of what they called the "Symbol of Marindía", "SpongeBob SquarePants". The little spongy details on his body where amazing. He looked great!

Since it was getting close to lunchtime, which is considered a very important meal here. Businesses all close for siesta time from 12:30pm to about 3:30. The SpongeBob group decided to go home. I was then happily invited to travel with them (since we live on the same street) and I was invited to one house for an Asado/BBQ. We had Beef, Pork and sausages, bread, salad and ice cream for dessert. My choice of wine, whisky or beer or coke. I had a beer! Cristina whose house I went to is one of my summer and holidays only neighbors, so it was nice getting to visit with them.

In looking back, everyone seemed to be having a great time at the beach. Not everyones castle or creation was professional or noteworthy, they just went for it. If there is a 2nd; Sand castle event next year, I will seriously think about trying to make something. I don't know what it will be but I have a year to practice. Meanwhile, I will continue to be noisy and keep looking out of my kitchen window. Who knows what I'll see next!

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