Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Carnaval Tambien!!

Carnaval también!! Another great day of fun.

My roommate Kyla has been sick for the past week or so with a stomach bug, so she stayed at Hogar yesterday, but today we decided to go in and see the doctor. While waiting for the lab results we had a little snack at a nearby cafe and ran into some of the kids from Hogar. They were roaming the street looking for trouble and wreaking havoc like the rest of them out there. We bought them ice cream and joined them in their wanderings. Kyla armed with spray foam and me just taking pictures. It was only a matter of minutes and we were covered in soap, talc, and general mess. Today all the dancing was in neighborhood street parties, and you could wander from one to the other and basically dance your way around town. Fantastic costumes were still everywhere and every party had their own marimba band. We visited the Hogar kids selling snacks and joined in dancing with the ones who weren't. The dance circles are kind of like a mosh pit with lots of crashing into each other and waving sticks and skipping and hoping and dancing. Kyla said it was a lot more organized than a mosh pit but it definitely had moments of pure craziness. Lots of yelling and people coving each other in foam and talc and a real feeling of jubilation. I liked it. Have I mentioned how much I love Mexico? These moments of celebration and community and color are so amazing. I love that every body gets together and links arms and laughs and dances for days.

I even got to eat at a free communal meal with a bunch of people in a back courtyard of a house. There were old ladies chopping up weird meat parts and big pots of stew simmering over charcoal. Everywhere people were eating, slurping soup out of bowls, waiting in line for more food and grabbing stacks of tortillas. I'm not even sure the bowls were rinsed out for the next person, but the soup was scalding hot, free, and greatly appreciated. It reminded me of the Vientamese soup pho, because I wasn't sure my meat was cooked when I got the soup initially, but after a few minutes in my very hot broth, I'm pretty certain all was well. The two Hogar boys I was with were such gentlemen. They made sure I had a seat and enough tortillas. We shared two chairs. People were looking at me like, "who's that gringo sharing our tortillas?". Curiosity, not at all impoliteness. As a side note, when I got back to Hogar and told the director Tia Arde that I'd eaten at a communal kitchen, she was really surprised and told me it wasn't such a good idea after the first day of the Carnaval. Ha! I guess, we'll see how I feel tomorrow, but for now, seeing the swirling smoke in the air from all the cooking and sharing a meal with a bunch of strangers in a crowded courtyard was absolutely great.

We got Kyla's lab results and verified she was being treated for the right parasite. While we were waiting for the results, a group of guys came over and tried to hit on us. How strange is that to hit on women obviously waiting for lab results from some sickness? Ridiculous and kind of funny. The receptionist kicked them out, which was appreciated. We caught the public bus back to Hogar.

I spent the rest of the night hanging out with the kids and learning new card games.

1 comment:

Tia Johanna said...

What a great photographer and writer you are! I feel like I'm reading National Geographic!

You really get into the Carnival high-jinks, don't you?! And aren't those Hogar young men just so gentlemanly?!

In years past, people threw buckets of water and water balloons at each other until the town ruled against it. You weren't safe even sitting inside a restaurant. The ranch director at the time, an American, would load the boys up in our school bus, along with a basin full of water balloons. They'd drive around the zocolo like a Chiapanecan tank and draw lots of "fire" and lob balloons back. Great fun!

And I chuckled about the town boys who flirted with you and Klya while awaiting her lab results. It would take a gringa to see the humor in that!

Looking forwad to your next blog!