We were in Tupiza this weekend for the reorganization of a branch. I planned on going out with the sisters for a while to teach while President was busy with interviews. I decided to go out early to wait for the sister missionaries in the front of the little hotel where we were staying (the only hotel in town). As I walked out the front door I saw the streets lined with families, and the children carrying various massive squirt guns or cans of foam spray. I asked what was going on and learned it was a PRE CARNIVAL parade. I have a lot to learn about carnival. It seems to be a holiday with Tio (the god the miners worship, also know as the god of the underworld, or the devil etc), Pacamama (an Incan goddess, mother earth) and Christianity combined. I have seen dried llama fetuses and displays of little icons to compile and burn for the local traditions but I really do not know how it all fits together yet.
Luckily the missionary sisters were late. This is what I saw as I waited. This holiday involves squirt guns, cans of foam spray, parades, parties, water balloons and fun. The actual holiday is a week from today, next Monday and Tuesday. It looks like the fun of the holiday spills over and takes up a week. During Monday and Tuesday our missionaries will remain inside as we have been instructed by our area seventy. Evidently, besides the fun, there is a lot of drinking, and the water balloons are often frozen! Gringos and missionaries would be targets.
This little guy was so anxious for the parade to come, he had to practice squirting anything he could find.
Every 'band' played the same tune . . . over and over and over and over.
Such little gentlemen
The mamas followed closely behind or with their little ones, ready to help if needed
That meant the younger ones got a rest too.
Sorry the audio does not work . . . you will have to imagine! (and I will try to figure it out)
The first part of the parade ended (the parade happened in segments lasting about 2 hours total). The sisters arrived to get me and off we went to teach families about Christ.