This year we avoided the festival towns and hung out in our community. Our embassy host family, JJ, Marcela and their two kids came up for three of the days. It was an great time for them to see our village. We visited the neighbors, petted the pigs and held the chicks. We hiked down to the waterfall and splashed in the river. We also got to eat some delicious food thanks to the cooler of goodies they brought up.
The house next to us had an Evangelical retreat. They had prayer sessions constantly where a bunch of people babel together at the top of their lungs. Things like, "God help me. Jesus save me. In the name of the Lord," on repeat for an hour or so. That made for a long evening, I mean, cultural experience.
The highlight of Carnival was going down to the river with a small net, snorkel and water bottle to catch little fishes and shrimp for JJ's aquarium. Marcela reported a week later that one of the shrimps had escaped the aquarium. Isabela found it's dessicated little body. "Oh no! What happened. We need to go to Jeff and Foy's house and get another one!" So maybe we will get another visit.