How my holiday season was spent in Ecuador.

I have been extremely busy and apologize for not writing sooner, but hey it’s better late than never. The first thing I want everyone to know is that I am now living with a new host family. I currently live with my host mom, Ruby, two nineteen year old host sisters, Nicky and Natalie, and my 21 year old host brother Andres.  

I had a lot of fun and many new experiences during the holidays.  For Navidad we exchanged gifts, visited relatives and had a great family holiday.  The fun of celebrating the New Year never stopped.  We kicked off New Year’ Eve by going down to the park and watched the tradition of men dressed up like women, dancing for money.  My sister’s boyfriend was part of this group, so I had to join in.  After that, we proceeded to have a very late night feast, with turkey and all of the delicious Ecuadorian trimming that went along with it.Once the clock struck midnight, we lit off fireworks and burned a scarecrow made to look like me.   Why did we do this you might wonder?  There is a New Year’s tradition in Ecuador that has been going on for a very long time.  Someone fills a scarecrow with fireworks and then sets it on fire.  This is a symbolic way of getting rid of all the bad energy from the year and replacing it with new positive energy.  It is meant to give the person whom the scarecrow represents a year of great cheer and prosperity. Everybody comes out on the street at midnight to have their negative energies lifted away.  We hugged all of our neighbors and wished them a Feliz Ano Nuevo!  After that, we visited my brother’s dad at his house and had fun dancing with the visitors that he had over.  We finished the evening off by dancing at a local Discoteca.  We arrived home just in time to watch the beautiful and breath taking sunrise!

I hope everyone at home had the opportunity to get rid of their negative energies and start a new, just as I had.  Happy 2014!  I hope you resolve to enjoy every experience in your life.  I have learned time is best spent when you try to be carefree and positive everyday.