Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years and Salinas

We got back from Salinas, a beach town, yesterday after passing the weekend there in a borrowed house with my Ecuadorian family and three aunts and cousins. It was chaotic and crowded, but thus is life in a huge Ecuadorian family.

We spent New Years Eve in the house with mostly immediate family. At midnight it is tradition in Ecuador to burn paper mache dolls, called año viejos, to represent the passing of the old year and welcoming the new one. Every house on our block contributed a doll to our huge exploding bonfire of paper mache, firecrackers, and gasoline. It is also a tradition to eat 12 grapes in one minute and say a wish for the coming year for every grape you eat. My younger sister Caroline fulfilled another tradition by running around the block carrying a suitcase, representing her desire to travel in the new year. After that we had a family dance party and ate a huge dinner of pig.

We spent the weekend at the beach swimming, eating shrimp, bartering with street vendors, and dancing in a beachside club. And tomorrow I go to Brazil!!

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