Hey boys and girls,
Sorry for this super late update. How've you been? Get through the "end of the world according to that mayan calendar no one seems to actually understand but agrees the 21st is the end of the end" day alright? Yea, me too. How were your holidays? Happy, I hope. Me? Yea, it was pretty great.
So if you remember from my last blog in regards to Christmas... actually, I don't remember if I wrote one. I hope I did. Anyway, on the chance that I wrote one, I would have mentioned that most of Peru is Catholic and therefore, Christmas is celebrated by everyone. There is none of this politically correct happy holidays/christmahannukwanzaka/whatever that happens in the states. It's Merry Christmas, dash it all, and happy new year cause Jesus loves you and God is watching.
But the thing is, Christmas is celebrate as soon as it's Christmas. That is, as the clock strikes 12. Christmas Eve, or "la noche buena," is when all the festivities take place. Not many but a few houses have some lights strung up, a few green and red randoms strung, some may have decorated xmas trees, and there's usually a nativity scene either in the house or set up outside in the street. The plaza de armas usually has lights and xmas trees, many of which are themed for the industries that donated them (last year, tons of "pitufos" or smurfs because it was a thing), and many a vuelta are walked around to admire them.
So we finally set off around 11pm and walk over a whiles away to the house of my host aunt. We bring a panettonne gift and as soon as we walk in, it's a series of greetings and talking and surprise at the korean girl who is now part of the family (I've never met this aunt before, but this is fairly normal- I don't know how many family members I have, and even my host siblings are often surprised to discover that so and so is actually a cousin... family relations in a small town are pretty interesting).
The table is being prepared, stories are being swapped, the women are bustling around in the kitchen (fun fact, there were only 3 males in the entire house- my host day, my little host brother, and my host cousin... the rest just all happened to be female), and the rest of us are pouring wine into little cups when my host cousin shouts, "Dios mio! Está la hora!" Turns out, in the bustle and confusion of it all, we lost track of time and it was 2 minutes until midnight.
Hurriedly, those little wine shots are passed around, words are given and the toast is made. Everyone wishes everyone good health, the wine is tossed back and everyone hugs everyone. Phone calls and text messages are made and received, wishing friends and families the happiest of christmases, and turkey and rice are served with pannettone and hot chocolate.
|Host dad hugs little host brother at midnight.|
|Pavo a la brasa- delicious|
|The fam by the end of the night|
The night ends, we mosey on back home, stuffed and getting chillier as the night goes on, to snuggle back under the covers and sleep until the morning.
On Xmas day, the day goes back to normal and at this point, I am on full vacation mode. My bags have been packed and I'm ready to leave site to head for a week in Ecuador with wonderful friends. Before then, though, I have to figure out how to get to another PCV's site up in Lambayeque. Along the way, I'm muling a suitcase of things for another volunteer to gift to another volunteer in Chiclayo. Many problems arise, predominately with transportation, and by the end, I am cranky as all hell.
Nonetheless, I finally make it to my friend's site and we spend a wonderful few hours making gluten free treats and later, walking her "this dogs needs to be mine but it's my host uncle's or something's" dog. Super cute.
|Gluten free no bake cookies!|
|Rodgers and some gluten free spiced marshmallow coated popcorn. |
Will be making more of this cause omg, so delicious...
We pack up the snacks, say goodbye to super cute Piter, and head to Chiclayo to meet up with the rest and head on to Ecuador.
So Ecuador... well, let's just say- if you are ever wondering about where to celebrate New Year's Eve, I ask that you seriously consider Ecuador.
|We took a bus from Chiclayo to Guayaquil and a plane from Guayaquil to Quito. Here are those of us who took the bus at the Guayaquil airport, which, by the way, has some seriously delicious smoothies.|
|In Guayaquil, we climbed up the "Punto Cerro" and got a great view of the city. |
There's not much to do in Guayaquil, but still, very pretty.
|The Malecon 2000 in Guayaquil is a nice little walk and there are lizards all up in the trees.|
There's a specific lizard park, but we didn't make it there. We head to the airport and set off for Quito!