Sunday, September 11, 2011

Election day: first impressions

The day dawned with faint rays of sun through the clouds. A rare day yesterday; no rain, and a clear, bright, nearly full moon surrounded by an orange-yellow halo. The street outside my house was busy from about 6 onwards; people gathering at the headquarters of the Partido Patriota, and others walking through the streets. I caught a glimpse of some lines up in the plaza, as people were readying to vote. I arrived in Santa Cruz a few minutes after 7 (the polls are supposed to open at 7) and left Fermina at the Escuela Tecu Uman where she thought she was going to vote. I had to run to the bank and was also hoping I could find some cappuccino (there are two places in town that sell it but neither was open) and then returned to find Fermina and see how long she thought she would be. We are supposed to be going out to monitor in 7 municipalities and the farthest is two hours away, but she and Matilde wanted to vote first. I don't think they calculated, or anyone calculated, how long the lines would be and how backed-up the process would be.  I parked on the street near the school and walked into the front yard where there were two long lines. Everyone seemed calm, and nearly festive. I spotted Doña Blanca, one of the women on the executive committee of Ixmukané, and went over to say hello, and then also Otilia Lux, who is running for the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) on the Winaq/Frente Amplio ticket. I have only met Otilia twice -- she appeared at a rally a few months ago, and then came to the office yesterday which was when I really "met" her. She had written me a nice note thanking me for my efforts on fundraising, but we hadn't really been introduced. 

So today she knew who I was, big smile and hug. I asked her about the report I'd read that she had been attacked verbally yesterday, and she said that it was unprovoked, but she seemed okay. She said she had gone to denounce it already. Yesterday Gregorio, who is heading up the party's efforts here in Quiché, showed up some calculations and said he was pretty certain that Matilde was going to be elected to congress. Otilia said she had also done some analysis and agreed with that calculation.  

Now they have both arrived at headquarters and we are about to hit to the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment