Holy Week has come and gone. As I showed in my last post thousands of Ecuadorians were visiting local churches and celebrating the holiday in various ways. But while the population is 95% Catholic, we learned yesterday what the country's real religion is.
We needed to go to the IESS (Social Security) hospital for some follow-up appointments.
Since it was mid-afternoon we were surprised that our normally busy street was almost deserted and it took awhile to flag down a taxi. Once we arrived there wasn't the normal hustle bustle of patients and doctors, but the lobby area was unusually packed. What was going on?
We looked up at the TV on the wall and immediately got our answer. Undefeated Ecuador was playing Columbia in soccer. I have a blasphemous confession to make--we're not fans of the sport and had no idea the game was in progress.
My British son-in-law has tried his best to get me interested in soccer. But as I've explained to him, Americans generally support sports that we invented. And on a personal level, I'm no more a fan of a pitchers' duel in baseball or a defensive struggle in football than I am of a game where guys kick a ball around for an hour and a half to end up with a 1-1 tie. Give me points and lots of them!
Ecuadorians live and die by their team, and I'm sure this attitude is reflected throughout Latin America. When a game is being televised during the day business grinds to a halt and locals are crowded around television screens all over the city.
There were so many people watching the game in the lobby that someone at the hospital finally turned off the TV so doctors and patients would return to the health care business they were all there for. We saw our physicians much quicker than normal and were soon on our way.
So here's an "insider tip" for you--schedule appointments on game day for super-quick service. If your doctor actually shows up and isn't watching the team somewhere else, that is------.
P.S. Ecuador lost 3-1, but somehow the sun came up this morning and life goes on.