I went to my first baby shower of all times.
I guess I have no friends who have had babies yet, so my first baby shower was Ecuadorian.
As for most Ecua celebrations I have been to, the chairs were placed all around the room.
We arrived, sat, waited for people to arrive poco a poco.
The baby was due the next week. The older sister (3 year old?) had a T-shirt that said “big sister” in English.
I couldn´t help but stare at the MASSIVE 1 by 2 meter painting of Jesus on the cross, a knotted rope around his neck, flames, small devils dancing around him.
Pretty traumatizing, right there, master piece of the living room-
The young cousins walked around with plates of chips, salchi bites, and (best of all) chocolate covered stawberries (wanna steal that chocolate fountain thingy).
Majority of women, but a few men nonetheless.
We started the games.
Soup of letters, labyrinth, put the letters in the right order to find the baby related words (too bad I couldn´t keep my paper cuz I didn´t know all of those !)
Then we had to guess the waist line of the future mum, tearing toilet paper.
I rock cuz I won that one. 9 toilet paper sheets exactly.
A fun one was for men: two dads had to change a diaper on a doll, blindfolded. That included wiping the doll´s butt, yes.
I have issues with cakes here, like I did in the U.S. and in China: they are SO sweet and heavy. Frosting and ice cream and what not.
I don´t want heavy cakes, I want smelly cheese instead, what can I do?
The same day, my host family invited me to the graduation party of the daughter of the family´s nanny.
City folks versus campo folks.
We drove 30 minutes out of town, parked the car in the dark, walked down a mud lane with the light of our cellphones, all the way down the hill to one of these massive Azuay houses. 12 kids, 4 emigrated in the U.S. who sent money to build the house.
B. started working for the family at 14. When she was got her daughter, my host dad became the godfather, and that´s why the host fam was invited. They hadn´t seen B. in 13 years. Last time they had been to her house, it was a shack with mud floors, and B.´s family was very hostile towards them. “what are THOSE people doing here?”
From what I understood, my host fam almost lost everything during the sucre/dollar crisis in 2000. Because they had taken a loan to buy a van right before the price of the dollar was multiplied by 5, they ended having to pay a massive amount for that car. Like, having 13 ,000 dollars in debts when making about 250$ per month between the two parents.
So they lost the nanny at that time.
But kept in touch with the daughter whose school was in the city.
It was super interesting to see my host family interacting with people from a way lower class.
Host brother loves to dance so he was doing great.
Host dad: way more comfortable than host mum, socializing, making a speech, saying thank you. Host mum? Not so much.
Well, she´s like me, she doesn´t like to dance, so ….
Traditional music, traditional hats and skirts.
For the older generation.
The younger? They lost those a long time ago. The graduate, who wore them as a kid, was wearing a super tight short silky mini dress with real high heels.
The overcrowded room was over heated by human heat, while it was deadly freezing outside.
We waited for dinner (12:30 at night) to leave.
The grand mother followed us as my host mum and I were climbing up the path “you´re not leaving, are you?”
We reached the car, hands full of doggie bags (the tradition is to give the guest WAY too much food: usually pork – hornado, chicken, rice, potatoes cooked in the pork fat, salad, beans. A MOUNTAIN of it.). Host bro was there with his wife, and explained to me that, for him too, this was a culture shock.
My host dad arrived 15 minutes later, having profusely thanked everyone, with three cooked guinea pigs in a plastic bag.
We had guinea pig soup the following day. Yum yum. Not.