February in Bolivia: basically a giant waterfight (with strippers)

It started slowly in Potosi. An unseen attacker in a passing bus threw water at me and I assumed it was to do with me being a foreigner! Later that day, more water and a shaving foam attack. As time went on I started to notice more and more people covered in water and children everywhere lurking threateningly with their chosen weapon: water bombs, water guns (massive ones, not the puny handheld things I had when I was young!) or shaving foam. The next day I had 3 direct hits from the same child, mainly down the back of my jeans, and countless other splashes as the kids went crazy throwing water at each other. In the end I hid in the hostel!

On arriving in Sucre I realised there was no hiding. This happens in the whole of Bolivia for the whole of February!!!

My first day in Sucre I left the hostel only to bump into this huge parade of school children protesting against alcohol, cigarettes and handing out condoms. 5 minutes later I got a tonne of shaving foam in my face! These parades have been a daily occurrence and it’s really nice to see the children having fun and engaged in such wholesome protesting!

Yesterday was the craziest day so far. Apparently last Thursday was man’s day (I’m not sure what happens then), this Thursday was ladies night. Initially I thought this was a gimmicky hostel night but no!  All afternoon there was a huge party in the building next to my spanish classes. My teacher explained that it was for 15-20 year old girls and that this happens all over the country. The drink, dance and watch strippers then go out and party some more. Apparently there are a lot of carnival babies as a result!

On arriving back at my hostel I ran into the bizarre sight of a crazy day time party only with Bolivian woman (plus a few backpacker hangers on at the edge). Not finding anyone to hang out with I decided to walk into town but almost immediately bumped into a huge crowd of teenage girls! I want brave enough to walk past it alone so headed back in the direction of the hostel. Luckily I bumped into one of my roommates who was similarly unsure about carrying on and we braved it together! We worked out that in the central plaza are loads of boys waiting for the girls to arrive so they could pealt then with water. Obviously we bought water bombs and joined in! Unexpectedly we managed to avoid getting wet until someone in a car opened their window and drenched us with a water gun. Unfair advantage if you ask me!




Anyway, afterwards we headed back to the hostel and enjoyed the party. I didn’t know most of the music but everyone was in such a good mood out didn’t matter!

I’m kind of watered out now. It comes from everywhere! People wait in balconies with water bombs so you can’t protect yourself. I’m starting to get a nervous twitch as I’m always on the look out for the next attack!

Two weeks more to survive. I hope I make it out with my sanity intact!


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