Semana Santa & Sunday Funday

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good Easter weekend.  In South America, the week leading up to Easter is called Semana Santa, or saint's week.

When I was in Colombia, this week was a serious holiday and we got the entire week off for vacation -mostly because everyone was traveling home to their families.  I was expecting the same here, but maybe because most people in Iquitos are from Iquitos we only had Thursday and Friday off.  Some people had Wednesday off as well and I could tell that several people had also taken off the rest of the week to travel as the lab was quite empty Monday and Tuesday too.  
Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa are the more serious religious days when you are encouraged to abstain from alcohol, meat, and work in order to spend time with family and reflect on your life, goals, blessings, etc.  My boyfriend asked me to do it, so I didn't eat any meat or drink alcohol Thursday-Friday.  I'm not religious and don't believe in God, but for me this was much more a cultural tradition I wanted to experience as well as good practice to try to understand better people with different believes and lifestyles than me.  [p.s. today I went into the lab and asked the groundskeeper for help with the hood because it wasn't working and he said, "did you come in Thursday and Friday?", me "Thursday yes," and he said, "ooh it's god punishing you for working on a religious day of reflection" hahaha he was jokinG but maybe only partially
Thursday night Elvis took me around to visit every church in Iquitos (I think the Christian ones only or maybe the Catholic ones only I don't know how to distinguish).  Then on Friday, his mom made the special lunch they eat every Good Friday, and on no other day! It's called Juane de Yucca and is made out of yucca, hearts of palm, peanuts, hardboiled eggs, and paiche (a big fish).

Saturday after Elvis finished at work and I took V to the vet again (she's getting better but not there yet), he took me to a nice cevicheria for lunch where we enjoyed a lot of fish (he was still avoiding meat) and some time out in the nice weather. 

After volleyball Saturday night Linda and I were discussing how we were getting bored in Iquitos and with our jobs; we both are running research studies where when there's a lot of work there's a lot of work and when something comes up or there are no samples, there's not really any work.  So this lead us to discussing adventures or day trips we could take and things to do in our free time.  Sunday morning, Linda texted me that a friend had invited her to go hang out on a boat, and of course I was in.  

We arrived not knowing what to expect, but down for whatever, and ended up pulling up to the house of one of the wealthiest men in Iquitos.. that's a pleasant surprise!  Turns out, we were invited to join him and his friends to his big boat for the day where they hang out and were celebrating a friends birthday.  

We arrived to the party boat via speedboat

After an hour or so a second party boat arrived and we attached the two to have a huge space to hangout on! There was a balcony ledge to jump off of into the water, rafts and floats for the kids (and me hello), jet skis, a speed boat with water skis and tubing, and a small weird jet ski-type vehicle that can be used by kids (and me hello).  We drank cuba libres, ate chips and candy, swam, played, and danced the afternoon away.  At sunset, we sang happy birthday to the birthday boy, cut into the cake, and turned around to return home to shore.  


How was your weekend?

Do you celebrate Easter?

Do you love boats as much as I do? 

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