Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year Adventures

I promise you things and then i don't provide. It's a fatal flaw. For example, i promised you this blog about new year antics in ecuador last week and it just didn't happen. sorry.

But, here it is, as the snow falls and a lone raven surfs the winds outside my completely bleary, basically dark window at 430pm. sorry, nora, needed a brain break...going back to work soon!

Last year for NYE we were in Patong of the coast of Thailand watching thousands of chinese lanterns sail into the Thai sky full of wishes and dreams.  This year, we were in transit from the thermal pools through the weaver-ville of Peguche to Hacienda Pinsaqui for the feast and party thrown by the Freile family. 

Here a list of things we learned:
1. The old year has widows. Not just any widows, cross dressing men widows who you have to pay (because they run a rope across the highway) as a toll to celebrate the passing of their husbands.  They talk shit, get a head start on the drinking and sing songs.

The slightly tamer version are the little extortionist children who set theirs up every ten feet. you go through A LOT of small change that way.

2. The Vaca Loca (crazy cow) is not in fact a real cow, but your host under a tent covered with fireworks who runs around trying not to catch on fire. I stress this because i was confused for quite a while (read: over an hour, serious lost in translation moment) about if this cow was real, what the implications for animal rights were in ecuador, and finally how the hell no one got hurt.  obviously, this makes WAY more sense, dude, tent enough explosives to kill himself:


on fire.
3. Ecuadorians like to burn things.  namely people. people they really don't like, people they do like, effigies. the effigies ride around on cars to prevent the widows from extracting their tolls. still haven't figured out why they cremate people they like, but makes for a great bonfire (which one's husband will then jump over to cleanse his new year and in the process nearly burn his shoes off):


4. Finally, they like to run things up greased poles. 
I imagine this is akin to our throwin a greased watermelon in the deep end of the pool during fourth of July pig-pickins.  minus the live chicken in the wooden box.  the disaster that was raising this thing went on for longer than we were there and finally resulted in the long wooden stick being shortened as it could not be raised with the two ladders and 50 bosses all providing instructions on how to get it up. insert your own joke here.

Truly though, it was wonderful. An absolute adventure and probably one of our favorite days of the trip.

So here's to the widows, the chickens, the vacas, and our new friends....

Happy New Year Y'all.

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