I experienced Carnival in Quito,Ecuador in 2005 and again this year in Cuenca. I hear that there are many popular festivals held throughout the country and that it is a time of masks, jokes, water-fights, drinking, music and dances. However, we are advised to return home before dark during Carnival. We have followed that advise and have not seen any of the festivals other than water fights which are quite intense to say the least. It is common to see people throwing water balloons, eggs and/or flour both on friends and strangers passing by.
When I was a volunteer in Quito we were involved in these water fights on our drive to the orphanages. I remember opening the car window and almost instantaneously being hit by a water balloon thrown from a passing car. It shocked me, and I thought it was so odd, but so funny. So for the remaining days of carnival we brought our own ammunition and partook in the fun.
I also remember water fights in the orphanage. One day, during Carnival, I was feeding a small child soup. An Ecuadorian worker named Naomi walked past and whispered to me, " Quieres jugar Carnival? " Which means "do you want to play carnival?" I enthusiastically responded, "Si!" thinking she was asking me to team up with her against someone after I was finished feeding the child. I was wrong, Naomi left the room, came back, smashed a egg on my head and then threw a hand full of flour in my hair while yelling, "feliz carnival!". Still feeding the child, my only defense was to throw the bowl of soup at her. I remember calling my dad to ask him how I could get Naomi back worse than she got me. The next day I came prepared. While Naomi was bent over making a bed I smashed an egg and a hand full of powder sugar in her hair.
This is a picture of the group I volunteered with in Quito from Dec 2004 thru March 2005.
The water fight moved into the house. That's me being dragged back outside to be floured.
Quito March 2005
Quito March 2005
Here I am preparing for an attack on my fellow volunteers as they return from shift.
Quito March 2005
The volunteers here in Cuenca experience the same type of water wars with the orphanage workers. It has been so fun to see them return from shift drenched with water or with flour in their hair.
Lee and I went to OSSO orphanage to play carnival on March 4th. The orphanage Director, Jackie had organized a kinds of fun games for us to participate in. We played musical chairs carnival style, the majority of the chairs either had a water balloon or large bowl of water placed on the seat.
We also played another game with water balloons. Each person grabbed a partner and placed a water balloon between their faces. The rule was that once the water balloon was in place you could not touch it with your hands. Music was turned on and our task was to dance with our partner without dropping the balloon. The last couple to not drop theirs were the winners. For round one Lee and I played. My sister Tahnee playing too in a different group. The little stink would dance with her partner close to us and pinch my behind in an effort to make us drop our balloon. Clever, but endured through and in the end we won the round! Next round Tahnee and I were partners and we used our bodies to bump other couples and we won the second round!
Monday we played Carnival at the church with a couple of ward members.
Lee laughing after he splashed Jeovani.
And Monday afternoon the ward member went to Jackies house to more carnival games.
Here we are teaching them a game from our childhood. We call it the thimble game, its also known as the category game. This is Tahnee about to splash Angie.
Tuesday afternoon we attacked the volunteers as they came home from shift.
Lee and Anna James.