Project Ecuador

Project Ecuador
Giving Hope and a Future

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


The last four days have been full of water and foam splashing around in all directions.  This is Carneval Santo Domingo, Ecuador style.  My daughters seem to be permanently soaked and covered in foam.  They are a menance with the foam cans.  The rivers are full to over flowing with people enjoying water fights.  We cannot get out along our road because of the queues of traffic coming out our way to the rivers.  It is happy mayhem. 

The festival originates in pagan festivals to pagan gods, but was renamed Carneval in the time of the Spanish Conquistadores, meaning "No more meat".  It was a time to enjoy all excesses before the lent fast.  Today Carneval is a time for families to have fun.  Tomorrow the Catholics will celebrate Ash Wednesday then life will continue as usual. 

In other parts of Ecuador there are brightly  coloured parades with traditional dancing, flowers and fruit displays.  Many people head to  the beaches to play in the sea.  Families gather buckets and hose pipes and stand outside their houses spraying the passing cars with water.  Water balloons may catch you unawares. 

Ecuadoreans are amazed when I tell them we do not celebrate Carneval in Britain, until they think a little and imagine everything covered in snow.  Water fights in the cold would not work so well.  In the interests of cultural exchange I am contemplating cooking the extended family some pancakes for tea.  (They are at present all getting wet in the river.)  I wonder what they will make of crepes a la lemon and sugar.  I fear it may seem a little tame in the face of the local exuberance.    

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