Pan- Am-azing!

The Pan-Am games started on July 10th, with Toronto as the host city and I couldn’t be more excited. The city is busier and more vibrant than usual this summer with tourists from all over the world visiting by the day to  be apart of this huge sporting event. On Saturday, I headed on down to Nathan Phillips Square with my sister Francine, her husband Rick and my nephew Malakai, The Pan-Am playground, to meet our cousin Loma. It was just a hop skip and a jump on the Go-Train to get to the city. IMG_2944There were plenty of bands putting on free performances with live music from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Belize. Then band from Belize, The Garifuna Collective, hold a special place in my heart. Belize is the country of my parents’ birth. It was almost surreal to see musicians from this tiny jewel of a country, and from a remote fishing village at that, centre stage in Toronto. We get plenty of bands from Brazil and Cuba, but Belize? That is a rarity. We enjoyed the music thoroughly and even got in a few shots with some musicians from the Garifuna Collective.

IMG_2943
Me, my sister Francine and cousin Loma pose with some band members from the Garifuna Collective.

IMG_2934We weren’t the only ones with a flag to represent. The games are all about about diversity after all. So having Toronto as a host city was very “fitting.” IMG_2949IMG_2955It was blazing hot. When I found myself complaining about the heat, I quickly put a stop to that. I complain in 30 below zero, not 30 above zero. I love the heat and the day was so sunny. There were not many places for shade, but that didn’t stop everyone from enjoying the festivities. I just made sure to keep hydrated. IMG_2918IMG_2920IMG_2921 IMG_2930

IMG_2927 (1)My nephew Malakai enjoyed swinging on the Symphony of Swings. The swings play classical music when you sit on them and start swinging: IMG_2932I thought because of the intense heat, this would be the only sign of Pachi, the Pan Am mascot I would see: IMG_2917 (1) But no. The real Pachi came out to greet the masses. God bless the person inside this costume and I prayed he/she wouldn’t collapse from heat stroke: IMG_2951IMG_2952

A photo with Pachi. Now life is complete!
A photo with Pachi. Now life is complete!

Tomorrow Andy and I head off to see the Track and Field preliminaries at York University. I will be back with more from that event.

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8 thoughts on “Pan- Am-azing!

  1. I’ve been hearing how great the games have been. So many things going on that didn’t really get advertised that well outside of of the competitions. Sadly, I don’t think I will get down to see any of it 😦 Looks like you had a great day!

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