These days have been so crazy, and so fun.
Tabacundo is in their days of fiestas – 3 weekends of tons of events, singers, rides, bull fighting, motocross, ect. And then they have la ferria – pretty much like a county fair. The day after I got back from Intag, my whole family went with a bunch of the other volunteers that have just arrived this time from sooo many places – New York, Britain, Germany, and Iceland. When we walked in, a police man said wassup to me. I looked back stunned and they all just laughed. We went at 6pm in order to see the comedian, but turns out that he didn’t come. Edwin actually got up on stage (keep in mind that this is a huuuge event with maybe a thousand people with a huge stage) and complained about it. Tuki also got on stage and won a night stay at a nice hosteria.
There were a lot of singers, but the crowd was really boring. They just sat or stood there and stared, no dancing, no singing, no cheering, no nothing. We were tired of this, so ALL of us went up to the front of the audience and started waving our hands and pumping our fists in the air, and cheering and stuff. Then I was like, let’s just go up and dance! So most of us went up and danced like crazy – like crazy people, We danced for so many songs, whipping our hair around, starting a mini mosh pit amongst ourselves, jumping all around, and dancing as crazy and funny as we possibly could. It was sooooo much fun. I was dying laughing the whole time. There was No shame, no embarrassment from any of us. It was soo much fun! The crowd was staring at us like we were crazy, but also kind of enjoyed it. We got a couple of people to dance with us, but not very many. (The Europeans didn’t dance with us until we made them – for this, we decided that Americans – both of the south and the north are crazier and not so rule oriented as them proper Europeans – we also decided the Americans like spicy stuff more than the Europeans – I said it’s because they don’t have Mexico close by..haha) The bands loved us, we were by far their biggest fans, (if not their only fans). We got so much free stuff from the bands – CD’s, t-shirts, hats, and a piggy bank. It was awesome. We were pretty much the center of attention the whole night.
In between, the MC came up and asked us where we were from – I yelled out “MEXICO!” He was like, “wow, Mexico, but do you speak English?” (because a lot of us are white) David, the other American, yelled out “NOO!” So he was like, “welcome our Mexican friends. Viva Mexico!” We all cracked up soooo hard. The band came back up and sang a Mexican song for us – La Bamba. We went super crazy during this song. This night was SOOO fun, probably the best night ever.
The bands started to get boring, and we were getting tired, so we left. Everybody said how they couldn’t wait to get home and sleep. I was like, I could dance all night! Edwin heard this, and was like alright, so we went to a club in Cayambe. But it wasn’t as fun as the ferria.
Soo many days after that we talked about how fun this night was, and how we wanted to go dance again. There would be times when somebody would talk English around me, and Sylvia and Tuki would ask me jokingly if I understood. I would answer, “No, soy Mexicana, no hablo inglés, solo español.” We would all crack up, and then tell the story to everybody around us, how we all now claim to be Mexican. It’s a constant joke. We went to this fiesta the other day that was about Ecuador being the best in the flower business – Whenever they would say “Viva Ecuador.” We (me, Sylvia, Tuki, and David) would scream out, “Viva Mexico!”
The next day we went to another little fiesta in their barrio. Me and Pacha danced a little bit together before anyone was there – a lady came up to us and asked us if we were ñaña’s (sisters), we were like “of course!” (even though we look nothing a like). Later that night, one of the neighbor boys came up with his mom and asked Edwin permission for her son to dance with me (which I was told is custom).
Sylvia told some of the neighbor boys that I was good at volley and wanted to play with them. They were kind of hesitant at first to let me play – first of all because I am a girl, and second because I am a foreigner. But as soon as I started playing and they saw that I could actually play good and knew what I was doing, they were so surprised and said “Eso! Toma un foto!” it was funny.
The puppies are so cute and can actually walk now. They weren’t going to name them because they are going to sell them, but I said that we had to just for fun. So we named them Peluchín, Cafécito, Pacarina, Lela, and Bernardo Gordísimo.
A neighbor always calls me Ali-baba. Reb’s host mom told me that in Quichua (the indigenous language) Ali means good, and baba means saliva. She’s been calling me good saliva all this time…
We went to a bull fight – which was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. This was the first time that I really said to myself “whoa, where am i? I’m in a different country.” But it didn’t even feel like Ecuador – it felt I was in India or something, it was the craziest thing I’ve seen yet. It was this stadium sort of thing but not really – it was just a bunch of wood put together to hold up 3 stories surrounding the bull pin, with trash bags put up to cover the little rooms that were built high up, and a bunch of handmade ladders going up into the rooms. There were people everywhere, it was hard to move, climbing up and down the ladders, and walking in the small space. It looked sort of like what I imagined a slum to look like. We went up into one of the rooms with some Empanadas and watched as they released a bull in a big pins, with at least a 100 people in there – really anyone who wanted to go in there and tease the bull. There were a couple of guys with red capes who would excite the bull and get it running, and have everyone in the pin running for their lives and climbing up the sides of the stadium. One of the neighbor girls told me that 2 guys were killed by the bull a couple days before we watched. Amazed that they kept on doing this, apart from what happened a couple of days ago – but that’s just Ecuador I guess.
My host family threw me a despidida and invited Reb and all of the volunteers. They killed and prepared a bunch of cuye and chicken for me, and I made a chocolate bundt cake and a regular banana cake – but messed up on the banana one and ended up putting both cakes together and making it in the shape of volcan Cayambe that is so close to their house. Not to brag – but people couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. The bad part was - one of the puppies accidentally got run over by a car during it..
Reb moved out of her family on a Saturday, and came and stayed with mine, as we planned to start traveling on Sunday or Monday, but we didn’t actually start traveling till Wednesday, because we just found it so nice to just hang out at Edwin and Maggie’s house.