It's downright impossible to believe, but as of today, my life as a 21-year-old has officially come to a close. Today was the big day, Jan Third: happy 22nd birthday to me! I didn't do all that much to celebrate: just the usual hanging out, grabbing dinner, and shmoozing down in the Kabul lounge and bar. I didn't even partake in any birthday drinking: seeing as I was still recovering from an unfortunate lunch, I elected to just sip on water all evening instead. Birthdays are always good: but I must say that as birthdays go, 22 really is something of an anticlimax after the feistiness of 21.
Having just gotten back here this morning, it seems that Baños is totally packed this weekend! Apparently it's a long weekend holiday all over Ecuador, so hundreds of domestic tourists (most from Quito) have flocked down here to have a party weekend. Luckily, the very basic Patty still had space for us; but I'd say that most places are fully booked until Monday. The streets are full of expensive cars; the sidewalks are chockers with rich young Ecuadorian couples and families; and the beer is overflowing at the bars, even in the middle of the day. Gonna be a big one tonight.
Having got back from my three-day rafting trip yesterday, I was in Cusco today, in time for Jesus's birthday. In honour of the occasion, Jesus held a grand old fiesta this evening, which began with copious amounts of beverages in his apartment (none of which I could drink, due to my still being on antibiotics), and which continued with dancing (and more beverages) out on the town. A great celebration for my friend and school principal, with many of his oldest and dearest friends coming from far and wide, to be there and to celebrate with him.
Last Thursday was the 5th birthday of Amigos; and today was the school's birthday party extravaganza. We celebrated by going to the park this morning, and having some heated high-altitude games of fútbol (soccer) and basket (basketball). This was followed by a big, tasty lunch at a good polleria (BBQ chicken restaurant) and some really good, really chunky torta (cake). Then, the party continued at night, over more than a few alcoholic beverages, and then on the dance floor.