I didn’t bring my camera, because of the increased chance of pick-pocketing, but I have now experienced carnaval in Cartagena, thanks to my intrepid group of 11th graders. We walked from our neighborhood to the Center, about a forty minute walk. Me, two 11th grade girls, four 11th grade boys, one 10th grade boy, one of my student’s older sister, and one of my other student’s entire family including Mom, Little Sister, Aunt, and Grandmother.

We saw the parade of the Queens, one from each departamento (kind of like a state) plus one from Bogota and one from Cartagena. Oh and also the Aguila girls. And dance troupes and all sorts of wonderfulness. I spent the parade packed up against the fence while some of my young, teenaged friends threw firecrackers at our feet.

Things I got out of Carnaval:

  • got over my fear of being hit by a buscapies (firecracker or more literally, foot finder) by being singed by a few.
  • got squashed by masses of people for hours
  • got splashed with: foam, water, corn starch, flour, and blue powder
  • got dehydrated
  • got invited to go to the beach Saturday with aforementioned family. (One of my favorite students has a super adorable 9 year old sister? Why didn’t I know this before?)

So, how did we do with the carnaval checklist?

  • being splashed with water
  • being dusted with corn powder
  • being sprayed with foam
  • being doused with Kola Roman (bright red and 150% sugar I’m pretty sure)
  • being splashed? by something blue that my students were not accurately able to describe to me in English.
  • bus routes being funky and hooligans throwing water at you while you’re on the bus 
  • parts of the city being shut down/closed off
  • parades? maybe?
  • Miss Colombia beauty contest, pretty sure we aren’t invited to that
  • lots and lots of picos
  • crowds
  • increased risk of pickpocketing
  • no more classes!

Not too bad! Until tomorrow, Cartagena!

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2 responses »

  1. aunt Alaina says:

    Sounds like fun at Carnival! We should do this one! Even better than Independence day. Gracie busy planning a trip to see you in February. We’ll have to FaceTime or something to plan.

  2. Mom says:

    How did you do with the noise level? I can just imagine how you loved all those firecrackers going off! Cute picture. I am glad you had a big group to go with and that you have an invitation to the beach with a family.
    Love ya

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