New Year's Eve in Quito Ecuador 2014
We arrived to our retirement on May 15, 2014. Ed and I were intrepid travelors and at 11 pm at Quito Airport we began the journey of our lives. We re-started our relationship, rediscovered the excitement we had each time we were reassigned during my husband's military career and looked like something that the cat had drug in! We started our trip from Denver with a four hour layover in Atlanta and we saw that melt into oblivion with two delays and were running like cross country runners for the boarding gate with two therapy standard poodles pulling us to the finish line just as they were calling last call for us. This is all behind us now, we arrived, hoteled, rental house hunted, are learning Spanish and have started a new business.
I know.. Holy Cow,, right? Yep, Holy cow. We love the weather it is 70 degrees in the day and approimately 57 at night and being at a higher altitude makes it seem much warmer. Great for snuggling under a duvet with a few pups on the bed, we call it a three dog night!!
We have been educated in taking a taxi and negotiating the price before you get to your location, we have modern shopping malls and local family owned shops which you can take your pick from. We have movies in English with Spanish subtitles along with Netflix and Skype to enjoy tv series and great video conversations with our families.
The highlight to our initiation was celebrating the holidays here. We are a host family to a company called Workaway.info and I teach them to hand sew my plus size clothing in exchange for room and board. It teaches them how simple the task is to make it yourself, inspires them to create things they like and so far I see a lot of repairs and recyling after they learn the basics. The four girls that are here now were able to share traditions for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us, along with reminding us of how much drinking plays in 20 and 30 somethings lives today!!
We also shared New Years eve traditions with our neighborhood this 2014 eve. Here in Ecuador many don yellow underwear in the hopes of being financially successful in the New Year or red underwear in the hope that love will find them in the new year. Effigies called Magotes are sold. These are images that range from 2 ft to 2 stories depending on where the celebration is. They sell the smaller and life size images in the town center along with wigs and lighted headbands and masks all worn by the people celebrating the New Year. Each family gathers in front of the house and in the curb and street light the effigies hoping that leaving the less than loved memory or event that is denoted by the stuffed figure is gone with the old year and better in the new. Then they jump over the fire showing how they are leaping into the new year.
Fireworks and Sky Lanterns light up the night, sending wishes for the new year into the air. It was a really wonderous sight, neighbors toasting and wishing each other a Happy New Year! Pictures of family and more pictures of jumpers and it is not only the kids jumping! It seems everyone wanted to leave 2013 behind and get the jump on the new year.
Well, I just wanted to tell you about our adventures last night. We have had a lot of New Years all over the world that we have enjoyed but for some reason it was really special last night. It was all about us, neighbors and culture acceptance. It was stupendous.