It was surreal being back "on land". I was somewhat ready to be back in Ambato. Not looking forward to spending New Years without the boyfriend, but he was off in the states having a great time. On New years eve I hung out with Hannah the whole day. We did a late breakfast and then walked literally all around Ambato. Then later that day I went back to my house to grab some stuff.
Let me go back in time just a bit to mention that when I arrived on Sunday the front gate was locked with a key. The landlords had put the lock on but had not given out keys. Well turns out, while I was gone they turned in keys..!!!!! Lucky up until when I was with Hannah I was able to get in through the garage gates.
So when Hannah and I went to my house everything was closed up. I tried jumping the gate but it proved to be a bit tricky, so I decided to just go back to Hannah´s and figure out what exactly to do!! We went back to her house and tried calling the house, but no one answered. I needed to get back to my house and change, shower to get ready for the midnight dinner with Chino´s family!!!
I went to my house around 6 hoping that someone had left a door open...no luck. So I climbed up the gate and some how was able to get over! I got into my house and about 20 minutes later the daughter came home, so I ran outside to ask for the key! All was well once I had a way to get in and out of my apartment, lol
I talked to dad on Skype and said happy new year, and then got ready to go over to Chino´s. Here in Ecuador, like I think I mentioned last year, they have many traditions for the New Year. The one is making paper mache figures and burning them at midnight, in hopes to get rid of everything that happened the previous year and start out fresh for the new year. They also do this thing where guys dress up as girls and ask for money in the street. It´s not as sketchy as it sounds lol. What they do is literally dress as women and dance in front of the cars, approach people (mainly other males) and usually get about 5 cents in return. Therefore you really can´t get anywhere in a car on New Years Eve because there are Viudas EVERYWHERE!!!
Here in Ambato they do a competition for the best Viuda presentation and the best Viejo presentation. So in the main road "Cevallos", different people bring there life size Viejos, and the Viudas do different dances, etc. We went down to look at it all around 10:30. The street was soooo packed, I couldn´t believe how busy the street was!!
We walked back up to the house and slowly by slowly family members started to arrive. We ate our 12 grapes right before midnight (with 12 wishes) and then at midnight said Happy New Year. Here there is no counting down, so it´s pretty much like everyone is asking "is it midnight, is it midnight??" and then when everyone agress it´s close to midnight you hear fire works going off and there are fires EVERYWHERE from the people burning their viejos! People run around the block with suitcases hoping for a year of travel, and other have on different colors of underware for different "good luck charms".
After ringing in the new year everyone sits down and has a dinner with the family. Chino´s aunt read the "Testamento del Viejo", which is where she acts as an old person that is reading off her will, but in a sarcastic way, making fun of different family members, it was HILARIOUS!!!
About an hour later begins the parties. All the old people go to sleep and the young people go out to party. It was so weird not being with Chino but it was good to have friends to be with. At the end (around 3:30 AM) we FINALLY ended up at a party and stayed till about 4:30. I then went to Hannah´s to sleep and woke up about 8:30 to go home and sleep in my bed. After a full night of NO ALCOHOL I woke up with a horrible "Chuchaqui Seco" which means dry hangover, like a hangover with out drinking, lol. So I pretty much spent all of Tuesday sleeping lol.
Wednesday Chino came back! And Thursday real life started again. Now it´s finally friday!!! Another week, of the new year! Who knows what this new year will bring but I am very optimistic :) :)