That is how we spent most of our day celebrating Carnaval in February!!
We hadn’t planned to do much. Everyone had said that you either travel out of Loja or you stay home to avoid “getting sprayed” in the streets. We weren’t sure what to expect or what Carnaval really was at all so we hadn’t made any plans.
But our friends at church quickly changed that as we planned an “all church outing” to Malacatos (much warmer) to celebrate.
Carnaval is a 3 day celebration in February that ends the day before Ash Wednesday. It was a pagan celebration even before the arrival of Catholicism in the country celebrating the second moon of the year. Combined with Catholic beliefs, it developed into a sort of ‘last chance’ celebration before the 40 days of abstinence and fasting that lent brought in this culture.
The gist of Carnaval? It is one GIANT waterfight…water balloons, buckets, sprays from hoses directed at friends, family or even people passing by. Often it can get out of hand (which is why people leave the city for quieter places) with people throwing dirty water or eggs or flour. There is also a crazy carnaval foam that people like to use.
We left with the church to Malacatos, a town about 45 minutes away from here…
Julie and I had NO idea what was to come…
Some people knew to rest up before we got there!
This private bus thing has been GREAT!
We got there and the games began….(a little reluctantly for some)
Not having fun….yet!
I thought that JJ would be a good decoy for a bit while I surveyed what was to come….
The porch was safe for a while until someone got after Matt….
And then it was game over for him!!!!
Every time he changed into “dry clothes”, someone was waiting to get him!
and so we played…..
the foam was way too much fun!
nothing was safe….
Viche I think was the most excited of all!
we took a break to eat…….
Rice, yuca, salad and grilled meat!
And played some more….
so wet she was wrinkly!
Nobody was safe….
We took pictures of all the families who took part….
once evening came, we worshiped together…..
yes…a chicken dance, but a worship one!!
the Lord’s army!
and laughed a bunch!
It was so much fun! The kids were reluctant at the start but really really got into it. The next day they continued to “play carnaval” with all the neighbours…and even were so into it that on Wednesday they were still trying to spay people as they walked by (big no-no)….now they are waiting and counting the days until next year!!
What a joy to celebrate life with our friends here at the Sauces Norte church and to see the church grow as a result of the “fun stuff” breaking down walls!!!!