14 February 2008

LOVE from Ecuador

Happy Love Day!!

Although a day late, this is sent with equal amounts of love. I hope you all had a great day giving and receiving love from all your dear ones. It was just another day down here in Ecuador…full of admirers. Ha ha. I am feeling good because I have a new nickname in town. Yes, I have moved up from gringa to Mister America. Can you believe? I don't even mind the Mister part anymore. I mean do they realize who they are calling Mister America? The girl that stands a mere 5'4" (far from Model criteria), who didn't discover mascara until the second semester of senior year in high school (sad but true), and when all the cute girls were in ballet classes I was at the local YMCA taking Jazzercise in stirrup pants. What am I trying to say? I am not exactly the ultra feminine pageant princess, but in Ecuador it doesn't matter. To them I am Mister America, making me feel as if everyday was Valentines Day down here.

Okay on to the news:


So I after experiencing much anxiety from horror stories I survived my very first carnival. If you are like me and don't know what Carnival basically it's the three days before lent. Kind of like a big party of Sins before the restrictions of lent apply, like the binging before the diet. Ha-ha. But modern day carnival is full of things like parades, music, dances, and lots of throwing assorted substances (water, oil, flour, and other unidentified things). And it's not like this is a kid's game. Carnival is a free for all even the senior citizens get in on this one (see video for proof).

Being the good friend I am made the 13 hour bus ride up north to see my soul twin, Francesca. It was a blast with a group of volunteers. We made tuna burgers, tacos, and even fried chicken. God Bless America. Although, I went to her site to get some gringo back up from the Ecuadorian attacks, but turns out I was still one of the two white people in town, I stick out like a sore thumb no matter where I go. Enjoy the videos of our carnival adventures and water balloon fights.

Also, Francesca lives in an Afro-Ecuadorian community which was really awesome to experience the different culture.

Rose Ceremony

Also, we welcomed a new group of 43 Volunteers that will be working in Habitat Conservation and Agriculture. A Peace Corps Ecuador tradition is to welcome the new volunteers at the airport with ear piercing screams and roses. It was really exciting to see the newbies and to not be the new ones anymore!! Yeah!! Here is a little video of what it looks like.

Okay I will stop rambling and leave you to the visual treasures of my Carnival pictures and ridiculous youtube videos that I think only the people in them watch. Haha.

Much love to you always.

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