The entire city at war with water. Not an understatement. Adults, children as young as three, coming together to throw water at one another in various ways, sometimes sticking a little paint or onion juice in the mix.
I went for a paseo (walk) with three of the girls from Corazon on Tuesday, with a bag of ammunition in tow. I never thought it would be as intense as people have said.
There are groups of people everywhere. Even as I was just leaving the house to go to the girls home, I was attacked by some of my six year old neighbours from a top floor balcony. They probably have had at least four years of practice, and so for 6 year olds, their aim was quite decent.
It is impossible to walk anywhere. Try to cross the street, they will run after you. Buckets of water, water guns, water balloons, canned foam. Sometimes crossing the street isn´t even an option, because there are so many different groups of people at war with one anothe. They often have no mercy either, except if you are carrying a baby. A baby is a free passcard through the water war. Perhaps I should spread that little tidbit around, and next year you will see groups of people carrying fake babies through the streets as they try to do their shopping unscathed.
There are also mobile units. Groups of people in the back of cars, trucks, dumptrucks, who also ride around with water starting wars in different neighbourhoods, often wearing neon coloured wigs. There are mobile units on foot too, usually large packs of adolescent boys, who go searching for innocent bystanders, and who do not tire easily.
By the end, the four of us were soaked to the bone. Happy and laughing, but completely soaked and frozen. I ended up going home, putting on my woolen llama kneesocks and drinking some hot chocolate to descansar (rest).
At Pedecito, we made masks and had a parade around the block and through the park, carrying maracas and drums. The Pedicito Ninos worked really hard on their masks, and I think they turned out amazing, wore them right through dinner.
Lastly, a special update. One of our other babies crawled and said hola for the first time last week, all within a 5 minute period. I could have died, I was so excited.