Carnaval in Santo Dominguo de los Tsachilas

I’ll write about this cuz it’s fresh in my memory and will do the trech trip a bit later after I’m done with homework (bleh)

Reflexion number one:
Ecuador has the music, but not the food.
China has the food, but not the music.
You can’t have everything, I guess….

These past three days were vacation time, because it’s carnaval and everything is closed here. So we went to G’s family in Santo Dominguo de Los Tsachilas, right between here and the coast, but way way lower in altitud.
The trip started in a way that made me feel “oh god I am going to regret this”
9 packed in a 5 seat car. Wake-up call at 4am. Rain. 4 people out of the 9 with their heads in plastic bags (lots lots lots of curves). Cold. At one point, Santi barfed without telling he was about to, and some ended on me. Nice.
The two hour trip took us 4 hours and 30 minutes because we got stopped by a terrible car accident. G., who’s a cop, opened the door to see how he could get the 1 file to be turned into two, giving me time to see his shoes splashing in a huge trail of blood. The passengers of the smashed car were long gone it seems….  This sent me right back to site visit in LZ when I witnessed a similarly traumatizing post accident scene. The difference this time is that everyone in the car was fine with the blood and were saying “take photos, take photos!”
Hell no.
What made the ride more bearable was the music.  Just the way I like it, loud and funky, this type: (this can be heard everywhere in this country right now, and well, it is pretty awesome if you ask me)

Then we arrived, after seeing the MASSIVE house (with maids, no shit… however no hot water, which was fortunately fine cuz the weather is SO hot there, so cold showers were actually a delight), and I got taken to the neighbor’s for a good 4 hours while Y and G were driving people 2 hours away. I got to play with the little girl there who was having a lot of fun with the espuma (aka foam spray in da face). And watched extreme  catch boxing on TV with the abuelitas for a while as well…

At this point I had told myself I should have gone travelling with PCTs many times already, trying to tell myself “come on, you’re integrating right now” to reassure myself.  Then Santi (the 2 and 1/2) did a little showing off dancing time lesson, with all the parents shouting “get it down to the ground Santi! Shake it, shake it!”) so that cheered me up.
But the next day was the coolest thing ever anyway.

We started by visiting some Tsachilas communities. This 40 year old Indian with red eyes (drunk) started reading my future but I didn’t get it (but understood something about good vibes and him wanting to keep me ?  – then Luz gently took my hand to get me away from there.
The Tsachilas live in this jungle, and dye their hair red with some flower, and paint black stripes on their arms and legs and wear a fun looking blue and white striped pagne thingy. In his house, we saw the skin of a tiger, a tortoise shell, snakes in bottles, and he showed up his mad xylofon skillz.
In 5 minutes in the jungle, I had my legs covered in little bloody stings from mosquitoes. Also walked in muddy water, so had some freaking out “please let me not have this worm that goes under your skin thingy” moment. Then I forgot about it. We shall see. Hallellujah for Malaria meds though.

After the usual lunch (by this time I had had non sticky rice, chicken, mayo about 4 meals in a row, eaten with a spoon and my left hand) we started proper caranaval: empty bottles of water that we would fill up in the rio and throw at each others, with foam and color power as well. At the end of the day we all looked like drenched pitufos. It was pretty fun cuz it was so hot anyway that this was the best way to spend the day!
Coming back, we got caught in the rain and splashed multiple times by people in trucks playing carnaval as well.

We stopped on the way to buy pork from one of the millions of shops which had an entire porc hanging by the feet by the side of the road. Fried pork fat for dinner…. but again, don’t like it. Weird how I could eat tons of hong shao rou and triple cooked porkin China  but could not chew on that fat here….

As we were finishing dinner, a good 50 people came in just 5 minutes, the sound system was linked to the computer, and da party started…. With traditional carnaval songs first (respect for the elderly!) and then whiskey and LMFAO and other fun tunes….
As the one glass of whiskey was passed from lips to lips, I had no choice but to go and shake it as well, making an ass of myself while giving a good laugh to the host of the party, so it was all good in the end.

Now is time for more carnaval time?
Hope you’re all well.


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