After the last oh-so-serious entry, figured i should give readers a little update on life here in quito during the past week.
Quito is pretty celebratory these days with the mix of the Halloween and Día de los Muertos (day of the dead… think it´s nov. 2). They did kind of celebrate halloween here yesterday. there were a few ecuadorians wandering around campus in costume yesterday and supposedly some events in the mariscal. my friends and i opted for a movie night instead. which is kind of sad because i still like to go trick or treating and i´m 20 years old. haha. i thought some of the other exchange students in my class were going to cry because they were so happy i brought candy corn to share with people. can´t buy it here. you should have seen my host mom´s face when she tried it… she was like… interesante. Haha. I can thank my dad for that little american sweet. One interesting note on Halloween is that president Correa has said in some speech recently something along the lines of ¨shame on ecuadorians for celebrating halloween…that is not our holiday and we should stick to ours¨. October 31st is actually ¨Day of the Crest¨, a holiday here to celebrate the weird symbol picture in the middle of their flag. how exactly he expects people to celebrate that i´m not sure… but he made it pretty clear he wasn´t cool with the US infiltrating their holidays. Anyways, for Día de los Muertos coming up, there is a REALLY crazy tradition ecaus have. They eat something called ¨guaguas¨ (translation: baby in the indigenous quichua language) and ¨colada morada¨ (translation: reddish porridge). All the bread shops make pieces of bread in the shape of babies and decorate them with icing, and then the people dip this in the red porridge that is meant to look like blood. I´m sorry but this just freaks me out. The colada morada, in the words of my friend Nadia, is like ¨drinking a candle¨. It´s really thick, like a glaze, and smells like a christmas candle (cranberry, blackberry, pinapple, spices). I thought at the mall the other day that it was funny they had decorated for christmas so early because there were huge gingerbread-mannish balloons all over the place. i was mistaken… they hung the ¨guaguas¨ from the ceiling. never a dull moment.
Saturday we were supposed to go to the volcano, but being that we´re in latin america kara and i showed up at the train station on the other side of quito only to find out the train just wasn´t running that day for whatever reason. we headed home and took advantage of a sunny day during rainy season by laying out on the roof for an hour and a half. In the states, no big deal. kind of forgot i was literally on the equator, at 9,000 feet above sea level no less, and got burned to a crisp. kara actually got 2nd degree burns on her face. i was in pain for a good 5 days and yesterday my face was totally peeling off. sorry if you were about to eat or something because you probably lost your appetite.
yesterday i went to the orphanage and had the most amazing time, as usual. that place has really worked its way into my heart and i am really starting to love those kids. i work with kids ages 1 and a half to 3 and they are just precious. They all call me aunt andrea. what a cool opportunity.
Tomorrow morning we are leaving bright and early to fly to the galapagos islands, where we will be for four days. I cannot even TELL you how excited i am for this… i have been looking forward to it long before coming to ecuador. I will be sure to hug some tortoises for you. well, if they let me.
Take care! 8 more weeks!