Last weekend Eric and I did our first load of laundry. It was long overdue (we were running out of clean socks and underwear). I have to say after doing my first load of laundry I can see why Ecuador is where clothes go to die. Ecuadorians use what is called a piedra de lavar to wash clothes (see picture). After soaking the clothes for a day you rub the clothes with a bar of soap and scrub with a brush and on the stone. Then you use a cup and pour water on the clothes rubbing against the stone until all the soap is gone. Then you ring the clothes out and hang them up to dry on the line. A lot more work than we are used to for a load of laundry!
Being pretty tired, it was a good practice in language when we were not 100% alert. From here the day had an interesting turn in events. In the first game they told us they were giving the other team a 12 point lead to start because we were “too good”. I’m not exactly sure how they knew this, but somehow they were sure of it. We won the first game and waited to play the next team in the finals (there were only four teams). However, last minute, another team entered into the tournament (after the first round). There was some talk about this and it was finally decided that they would play the team that we beat. In the next round we played in the first finals. We again beat the team. We were pretty beat by the time the second finals came around. It was about 3:00 and the games were 40 minutes each and very tiring! We were about to start the game when the “officials” said that we could play in the second finals but Eric, myself and our other good player could not play. They said it wouldn’t be fair considering the other team was much younger than us and Eric and I are extraneros (foreigners). Considering we were only playing with five people, this didn’t give us many choices. Eventually they agreed to let us play, however, there was some tension between one of our players and a player on the opposing team. Being tired and not wanting a fight to break out, Eric and I decided it would be best to leave. Instead some people we came with played in our places. In the end our team lost the basketball finals and won the soccer championship. After our team was done taking pictures with our trophy (a huge rosary) we finally were able to go home.