In most cultures, eating and drinking are the two main reasons family and friends get together. In Ecuador and also Latin American areas, this trend continues to be the same. Last Sunday, I went with Lorena, Lula’s daughter, her husband, their kids, and Amanda to a BBQ for one of their friends, who happens to be from Argentina.
We pulled up to a huge complex and got settled into the downstairs clubhouse. Met the couple and their kids, then Lorena’s husband and the man started asking us questions about what types of meat we liked to eat. This was confusing to me. Apparently, the hosts to buy the food and meat once the guests start arriving. Say what? I guess it just follows along the Latin American time conception around here. In the United States, we want everything fast and ready and organized, but here, it’s probably the exact opposite. Disorganized, chaotic, and lack of time. Kind of like the busses here too, as another example.
More people started to show up, maybe about 12 total. Food was being prepared and the kids were running around. There was nothing we could do to help, so Amanda and I just sat out on the sunny patio and talked, because it was freezing everywhere else. In the back is Pinchincha Mountain, a famous mountain that you can take a cable car to the top, where there are restaurants, hiking trails, and horses.
Dinner was supposedly ready. I was thinking all the food would be ready at once and everyone would sit down. But yet again, more chaos. It looked like there wasn’t enough meat for everyone, but within 5 minutes another platter was brought out. First there was chicken, which was really delicious. I think it was seasoned with some sort of lime marinade. We had it with salad and some toasted bread. I was so full. Another tray of meat was brought into the room. Amanda and I just looked at each other and took a piece of pork to be a good guest. Oh my… the meat just kept coming. Then there was steak, Argentinian sausage, and chorizo. I literally had 5 different types of meat within 20 minutes. That’s got to be some kind of world record.
Lorena’s husband, who’s from Cuba, made some awesome Mojitos. The ingredients are a little different. Rum, Sprite, lime, and HierbaBuena. I don’t know what HierbaBuena is, but it’s not mint. They were served in these little teeny tiny cups, which someone would probably need around 8 to get a buzz. I only had 3, because I was stuffed full with meat. Apparently though they are really strong drinks, but you just can’t taste the alcohol.
We hung out for a while and played dominos with someone’s Grandpa, and then we headed home. I’d say that was a new experience for me and for my stomach!