Note: Another picture heavy post
Yesterday my plan was to have no plans. A friend went on a hiking trip and while I considered joining, I really wanted to get some work done on this new design. So I wasn’t going to go out. I went out and bought a few DVDs so that I could spend the day watching movies and How I Met Your Mother. How I met your mother came out while I lived in England and I’d never even heard of it. However, due to an obsession with watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall and a huge crush on Jason Segel, I decided that I had to start watching it. I was excited to find at a DVD shop in Quito that sold the last 4 seasons ($1.50 per DVD – not originals obviously but that’s how things work over here). I got the first season and I must say that I’m in love with that show. It’s just soooo funny.
Anyhow, I had my plans fixed for the weekend but then my host mom said that her sister and husband (Sylvia and Nelson from last weekend) were coming over to take us to lunch at their house and maybe a trip to Mitad del Mundo. Mitad del Mundo is where you can go to see the equator line and there’s a museum there explaining how they figured out the equator point etc. Of course I wasn’t going to say no. So I packed up my knitting and decided I’d try to get some done in the pick up. I’m working on a shawl and had gotten lots done the night before but then realized I’d messed up a while back. Normally I’d just fudge it but since I’m writing this pattern up I had to make sure everything worked. So I frogged the whole thing, wrote up a chart of my number of stitches for each row and planned to get a lot done on Saturday.
Instead, Sylvia and Nelson plus young Pamela and their son Pablo came to pick us up and this time it would be quite a lot of us: host mom, Sandra, myself and host siblings Christian and Andrea. Pablo and Christian ended up in the back of the pickup while the rest of us sat in the cab. Later that evening, as it grew cold, Pablo and Christian joined us in the cab of the truck. So Nelson, Pablo and Christian in the front seat. Myself, Sandra, Andrea, Sylvia and Pamela in the back – not the most comfortable ride.
In the car, Sylvia admitted that she hadn’t cooked lunch but that we should head to this cevicheria, Ecuaviche, for lunch. Get ready to check out some delicious Ecua food – mainly food from the Coast. It was quite funny that I had more experience with that kind of food than the rest of my host family since I’d lived on the Coast for 2 years (2004-06). When we arrived the place was packed; I literally stood behind a family that was nearly done eating so we could get their table. Horribly rude I know but that’s how you do things here.
Anyhow, Nelson ordered all the food. First to arrive were some bowls with popcorn and chifles (green plaintain chips).
Then came the encebollados. This is a typical Guayaquil food, especially known for relieving a hangover. It’s a sort of tomato-ey soup with a fillet of fish, yuca and lots of onions inside. Cebolla is Spanish for onion, hence, encebollado. We ate ours with crushed up chifles in it.
While eating our encebollado, the conchas asadas arrived. They were delish. They were in this dark sauce that was just amazing.
Then the camarones (shrimp) arrived and another platter with breaded shrimp and calamares. Again yum! You can see us demolishing the food. Even Pamela tries to get in on the action.
After lunch, we went to heladeria (ice cream shop) next door.
After our big lunch, we all got back into the pick up and went to Sylvia’s and Nelson’s house. Pamela needed to be changed. Nelson showed me some family photos and gave me the tour of the house. After that we went to check out one of Nelson’s site. He’s an engineer and is currently heading the building of a school.
Then back to the car and we headed towards Mitad del Mundo. We didn’t actually enter the tourist site but instead drove around the village. Around that area, mostly indigenous people live and so it was a bit interesting. Since we were in the car, I didn’t really take any pictures but I’m sure I’ll be heading out to Mitad del Mundo again.
After driving around, we stopped at a Panaderia (bakery) and then headed to Sandra’s parent’s home. I hadn’t realized that the whole family would be there. At the house I met Sandra’s brother and another of her sisters along with their spouses and children. Karaoke was the activity of the evening. Ecuadorians aren’t shy when it comes to singing and everyone jumped in. Luckily I’m a karaoke whore and so was happy to join in. Sadly, they only had Spanish music so I had to jump in and sing what few songs I knew. I started with Tabaco y Chanel by Bacilos and even did a rendition of Chiquitita by Abba in Spanish. I also sang La Bamba and joined Andrea in some Guantanamera.
We had coffee (me tea, can’t stand coffee) and bread and empanadas. It was quite nice. The men drank cuba libres and the women had cremitas (cream liquor).
The evening was quite fun; the Ecuadorians love a good family get together but as with every family get together the world over, things went a bit awry. Pamela was getting tired as it was around 10pm and Sylvia was ready to go home to put her children to bed. Nelson was happily drinking cuba libres with the other men and was not ready to go home. Sylvia got mad and was like, let’s go home now. Nelson wanted to sing one more song. Somehow, things got out of control and a fight (yelling) ensued. But that’s how things go with families, no? And of course alcohol.
While singing karaoke, one of the young cousins started singing a song by the group Mana and I remembered I love Mana. Anyhow, my fave Mana song Rayando el Sol was on the song list and so we sang that one together. I just love that line in the song: “Es mas facil llegar al sol que a tu corazon” – translated to mean, it’s easier to reach the sun than your heart.
I did manage to get some knitting done. While hanging out singing karaoke, I happily pulled out my knitting when I was not singing.