Sunday, March 9, 2014


We just celebrated a 4-day festival here in Bolivia called Carnaval (as it is spelled here). The biggest party takes place in Oruro, but many of the other cities ‘fiesta’ as well. The event kicked off in La Paz with a ‘more tame’ version for kids…that’s when we took part in the festivities, and I can’t even begin to imagine what the other days were like if that day was more subdued. All the people are in the street armed with ‘espuma’ (a foam-like substance that they love to spray directly in people’s eyes), and heavy-duty water guns (which they also like to spray in the eyes). Duane and I commented that the only time the streets in Canada would be as full as that, is if we won the Stanley Cup, and NEVER for 4 days! Pretty much everyone was in costume and there was kind of a parade. This was seriously like Halloween on steroids.

Our city's traffic joke
Trying my hand at the espuma 
Thankfully these little glasses were for sale everywhere. They proved to be useful.
Even in my mouth.
On ‘adults’ day, I’ve heard that things get a bit crazier and people fill water balloons with paint and they throw eggs at each other. They will toss flour at you and then douse you with water. Different cities do different things, but thankfully La Paz is known to be a bit more conservative and lots of these things are prohibited.

Baby in a cage? Why not?

That being said, it’s a super fun and wild holiday where people have the freedom to let loose…much like Songkran festival in Thailand. Amelia was a champ despite being hit in the face with a water balloon and she’s proving to not be so intimidated by large and raucous crowds anymore. She used her tiny little water gun to drizzle water in the direction of others (never quite making it there), and quite liked the espuma. She was most impressed by the costumes and dancing though…something I’m sure she will miss when we return to Canada. 

The streets were bursting with people.
With Sergio, his wife Andrea, and their daughter Natalia.
Sergio and his family.

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