¡Feliz Carnaval! (pues… después de las fiestas)

8 Mar

I spent the last four days on the beach in celebration of Carnaval. We (Toby, Lucy, Ethan, Kelly B, Allie, Raquel, Karen, and I) rented an apartment in Tonsupa from one of Toby’s relatives located two blocks from the beach. A woman named Juana came every morning to cook and clean for us- we didn’t know how to interact with her because she seemed used to following orders and we didn’t know the protocol. She made a kick-ass shrimp dish for us one night.

Most of the time we hung out on the beach, taking turns playing in the waves and guarding our sandals and towels. On Saturday, six of us went parasailing! I thought it would’ve been more thrilling than relaxing, but was surprised at how calm I felt drifting across the ocean above everything. That night we occupied the corner of a beach-side bar and danced until 2am. Our professional-dancer friend from CIMAS and his friend met up with us as well… dancing with Latin men who know how to lead is soooo much easier than with my sometimes-clumsy American friends. Fun fact- el mar es el baño para todos (y pienso que es más higiénico que los baños en la mayoría de los bars).

The accents on the coast are so much different than in Quito. The US Embassy sends people specifically to Quito to learn Spanish because the people here tend to speak a very clear and slower-paced Spanish. On the coast, where the pace of life is slow but the energy is fantastic, people trail off the ends of their words and speak much faster. I’m constantly amazed at the diversity of this little country that, in size (but not in land area because of the mountains), is slightly smaller than the state of Nevada. I hope I have a chance to visit the Amazon and some of the places closer to the borders while I’m here.

Our bus left Tonsupa at 11:15pm and I arrived at my house around 7am. Unfortunately, I am sick from the change in temperatures and altitude between the coast and Quito. It’s currently 57 degrees here and I’m wearing pants, long socks, tank top, long-sleeve shirt, swacket, my alpaca shawl, and my hair is down… and my toes are still chilly. My entire body is sore- I’m not sure how much is due to sunburn or sitting on an uncomfortable bus for six hours. It’s nice having a mom who takes care of you at times like this (Mom in the States- I know you would do the same, or more, if you had the chance).


If anyone has suggestions for my spring break trip to Cartehena and Medellín (in Colombia), I would love to hear them! The only advice I’ve received (except from my host family) is this wonderful email from my Dad (who still pretends not to like horses):

Talked to [past soccer coach who is Colombian] at church today and told him you were going to Medellin for
spring break.  He said to try and get to see some horses; it is a very big horse
area, especially Paso Finos.



I regret that I didn’t bring my camera on this journey. I’ll try to post some of the pictures my friends took when they’re uploaded en el facebook. Since I haven’t had any new photos to share recently, I’ll sign off with this one (he’s three weeks old already!):




muchismo amor!



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