As a HUGE Michigan State football fan, the prospect of being away from the banks of the Red Cedar for yet another football season was debilitating. With the big match-up between #7 Michigan State and #3 Oregon, many of my friends made the long journey to Eugene to watch some good old football this Saturday, while others hosted viewing parties with friends and family. Not about to let the commencement of what was to be one of many great games go to waste in Ecuador, Kirsten and I set out to host an Ecua-tailgate.
With seven-layer dip and rice Krispie treats in hand, we slipped our “Go Green, Go White” koozies onto our Pilsners and headed out onto our terrace. Pilsner is an Ecuadorian beer, and it is ALL that they drink here. I would equate it to a worse version of Bud Light, but they are seriously proud of their Pilsner so nobody can say anything bad about it. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and I was able to bust out my green shorts for the first time (they do not wear shorts in Quito… ever) and my 2014 Rose Bowl t-shirt.
This was not supposed to be a two-woman tailgate. We do have a few friends in Quito, and they made a quick appearance. But, we were ultimately unable to persuade them to live and die for the green and white.
When it was game time, we headed to an American bar to see if we could get the game. We were able to stream the game from a website to a computer, and then onto the TV while eating bacon burgers. We were basically in America, right? Well, the stream worked for about half of the game. We missed Oregon’s two-point conversion and a few touchdowns before it totally froze and it became apparent we would not get to finish the game. Although MSU lost the game, they were winning when we were watching, so that is what we will remember.
At the bar we met quite a few interesting people. The owner had lived in the United States for a long time, and his son is currently serving as a NAVY SEAL. There was a man who had just bought property on the coast and was sharing it with his brother as a surfing vacation home. There was a chef who had retired and moved to Quito. He had opened a restaurant and then sold it and is currently looking for another opportunity. Finally, we met a geo-scientist who had come to Ecuador to study climate change, but is currently working at a very high level of government. There are a lot of American’s in Quito, you just need to know where to look!
After we had received word of a Spartan defeat, we headed to the fiesta de Guápulo. Guápulo is an interesting neighborhood in Quito, which is very picturesque on the side of the mountain. From a lookout you can see all of Cumbayá, a more rural district in the valley. The festival had music and fireworks. They set off fireworks from a big structure in the middle of the crowd, and then passed the structure through the crowd. They had a big paper-mache cow that they put fireworks on and ran through the crowd. There was singing, drinking, street food, and lots of costumes.
Obviously not a traditional tailgate Saturday, we made the most of it in a country where the only “futbol” is played with a black and white ball. For the next game, we will pray for a better live-stream or to be blessed by the more accessible ESPN.