Everyone knows that Carnaval ends on Fat Tuesday. For whatever reason the good people of Vicente Lopez, a huge Buenos Aires suburb, don’t seem to care that date has passed. They had their Carnaval 5 days later!
This worked perfectly for me as I was on an airplane coming back from North America for the large parade downtown. Completely disappointed I missed my chance, I was elated that I was given a second chance in Vicente Lopez.
The parade was long enough it started in the hot sun of the day and ran into the night. And it was everything you could hope for from an Argentina Carnaval Parade – Murgas (drum crews), dancers, elaborate costumes, and general fun.
Enough fun this posting is 44 photos long!
After what seemed like the final group came through and we left we ran into one more group who was clearly late to the parade!
What a parade it was. While it obviously isn’t Rio, it was far better than we could’ve hoped for, and an experience that will live with us for a long time.
Once a year many of the embassies located in Washington have an open house, officially known as The Around the World Embassy Tour.
This was the event we went to Washington for, and it didn’t disappoint. On this busy Saturday the embassies were open from 10-4. We had selected 14 from over 50 that were open. In the end we visited 17, but only 6 that were on our original list – regardless it was a great time.
Easily the best part was meeting the people from around the world. Each embassy had a variety of people – artists, musicians, delegates, and just regular folks from their home country. In the Peru embassy we met the artist Mario Arcevedo Torero.
Our morning continued down the street at the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago, A recurring theme soon began that the smaller countries had the most lively groups.
At the Iraqi embassy we met this artist and his traditional (yet electrified) guitar.
India’s was so popular they took over the nearby street and had a concert, with the traditional dancers, as well as a drum circle.
The visit to Albania was great as well – really tasty free food, traditionally costumed people, and a free shot of alcohol at the end!
There were numerous people in their traditional dress.
Despite tasting our way through 7 countries we had lunch in Costa Rica. As with the others it was nice to taste the local foods.
While many had small tastes of food and drink, some had food lines set up for a nominal fee – it was well worth it.
The Dominican Republic was a lively place as well.
In addition to the dancers there were a number of craftsmen, including this chain saw artist who makes amazingly small items using a chain saw (and seemingly still has all his fingers).
The Korean Cultural Center featured dancers as well.
The second act we saw was a drum line. It is interesting that the cultures from around the world tend to use similar items for their entertainment – dance and drums.
The Haitian embassy featured an artist doing paintings on site.
Meanwhile over at Cote d’Ivoire the greeters wore traditional headdresses.
They also had a display of costumes.
This artist was proudly displaying her work – it was beautiful.
Ah Belize…. What a party….
Before you even entered the grounds you couldn’t help but feel the energy of the party.
People were dancing in front – people were dancing in back.
People from very different cultures were jamming out to the Belize party. Ironically they were next door to the Muslim Center, which we visited in what I would expect should be quiet respect, but you could still hear the party next door – hopefully they get along ok.
We went through a very quiet and strangely austere Brazilian embassy, then headed on up the street to see these two colorful ladies….
Coming from Bolivia! They had a number of dancers performing their traditional dances.
And posed for a group photo at the end of their act.
This older guy was very active in his dance.
And with that we ended our amazing day at the Embassy Open House. This is one you need to put on your list!