Saturday, February 28, 2015

CARNAVAL (a picture explosion)

 Carnaval is not just a one day or one week thing. It lasts for a month with different little holidays and celebrations and even burnt offerings during that time. There are two days off work for Carnaval that errupt into a mass water fight. The missionaries stayed inside those two days except when they went to their pension to eat or to a ward sponsered activity. I think in MANY cases they were happy to be inside. They had had enough of water balloons, and spuma during the preceeding weeks. We traveled to a youth conference to speak and then drove the streets a little to see what was up. This is what we found. . . the photos are not the best as they were taken in a moving car!
During the preceding weeks every street corner has a booth set up. One must be
Spuma - spray foam - is sold
everywhere. This photo is from
a grocery store:)

and . . . then it begins. Young men roam the streets - 

everyone gets excited and involved . . .

Open bed trucks filled with 'youth', and extra water drive up and down the streets

Why use a squirt gun when you can use a refillable bucket?

Just a few of those wandering the streets . . . prepared for fun

The city fountains provide free water

Everyone gets involved

No one is safe

An expert water balloon tosser.

 The younger kids do not roam the streets, but they can be found in every neighborhood sitting right at their front door waiting for a car to drive by. Or, in some cases, Mom or Dad drive them in safety of family car with the squirt gun perched on the open window and a huge smile across their face. 

There are several CARNAVAL parades, held on different Saturdays The largest is held in ORURO, a city several hours from here. Cochabamba held a parade last Saturday. It started in the morning around 9 or 10 and went well past dark. The restaurant owner we spoke to said it would go till midnight. We heard bands and saw fireworks from our home till late that night. Bolivians do love a party! The paper said our parade had 20,000 people 'dancers' IN the parade. I have no idea how many watched it but it was huge, long and crowded. We watched for about 2 hours. We went too early to see the native dancers and the native costumes. We saw the military groups. Next year we will find the native dancers.

and yes the squirt guns and spuma cans continued

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most people are good sports about the constant barrage...

I love the native costumes

A cholita walking the route selling food.

This was from a MEXICAN 'float' and they threw out tortilla chips! yes I was happy!

20,000 people IN the parade. I believe that was a correct estimate. I love Bolivia and her culture and people.

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