Friday, Jan 5, 2017

Make 2018 Great!

Welcome to 2018! A new year begins. Wow, just incredible how fast time moves. Obviously It actually never changes pace, but as I am getting older with more years of living behind me, each year seems to move faster. I guess that just means I have to move faster in all the things I want to see and do. Speaking of seeing and doing, New Year’s Eve was fantastic here in Ecuador.

Say Goodbye 2017 Monigote

NYE is a big deal in Ecuador. Burning the Monigote at midnight is an annual tradition. The Monigote is a papier-mache person or character. Before NYE these are displayed in the front and outside of people’s homes. They are brightly painted and range from two feet to eight feet tall. They can be caricatures of people, or superheros, or anything really.

a new year begins

Monigote Madness

The idea behind the Monigote is to write down all the things you want to be rid of before going into the year; those habits, behaviors, and experiences you want to leave behind. They get put inside the Monigote and at midnight they are burned up, and the new year begins.

We brought the New Year in at the beach in Olon. It was a wild time! Hundreds of people lined the beach. Music played and everyone was having a great time. Many people lit lanterns on the shore that then floated up high into the sky. The night sky looked like an invasion of UFOs hovering over the Pacific. Fireworks were in abundance along the shore line. They started early. For hours while we were enjoying drinks on the beach it was our visual and auditory entertainment.

When the clock was close to midnight everyone began making piles of their Monigotes . It is a big event. Individuals and families want their pictures taken with the pile of Monigotes set to go up in flames. It was fun to watch the locals having so much fun with this.


Bonfire Blaze

There were so many bonfires of Monigotes up and down the beach. As these flames of 2017 “leave behinds” reached upward, many people threw M80 type firecrackers into the fire. All along the beach it sounded like a war zone…pop-pop-pop-pop-pop as these incendiary objects exploded.


The firecrackers were one thing. Soon some people were throwing fire works into the fire. It was like an out of control 4th of July. Pyrotechnic chaos as colors of flame whizzed by heads and hit who knows who. Yikes!

After the show on the beach was over, we went to a party that our Spanish teachers were having at their house. When I walked in I instantly realized I was at a 20 somethings party, maybe 30 something since my son Chase was there. ;-p.

We Welcomed In 2018!

Heidi and I had fun watching the crowd and talking to the people. A little before 2 am we decided it was time for us to make our way back to our house. I am proud of us! We actually stayed out late (for us) and partied the New Year in. Of course our sons can still do circles around us. They left the party too, but then went to Montanita. (Think crazy out-of-control South American revelry) They got home just before I got up at 7 am.

So We Begin a New Year

The first week of the new year has been nice. Chase began his New Year by taking his GRE for graduate school in Guayaquil. He did great! Hopefully he will get into the school he wants and begin his journey into the world of diplomatic relations.

I didn’t go to Guayaquil. Instead I had a long over due physical in La Libertad. It appears I am very healthy. I’ve been concerned because I go through periods of pretty significant swelling of my feet while I work for long periods of time at my computer. I had an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram done. The cardiologist says I have a beautiful heart. Lol, I can’t imagine a cardiologist in the states describe my heart like that.  Oh yeah, the cost for both these procedures? $150 dollars.

The cardiologist is going to give the report to the internal medicine doc that gave me my physical. I still don’t know why my feet swell like they do, so we may have to do some more checking. Anyway, I live another week to write my blog post!

I’ll leave you with a short video of evening fun in Olon.