It’s a new year… huh, a new year, a new start…


I went to Ecuador for new years and it was absolutely incredible! As part of the new year tradition all the people of the country build an effigy of themselves or someone they would like to cleanse themselves of for the new year and at midnight, they burn the effigy. It was amazing! All the streets of Quito filled with bonfires of people cleaning themselves of negative habits and behaviors, starting new.

My girlfriends and I spent the evening running around the streets in masks and building our own effigy. We filled the doll with notes to ourselves; notes that expressed the things we wished to move beyond in 2009, and joined in the ember-filled fun. What a way to begin the calender.

So as a lovely, welcome to the new year, I encourage each of you to make a list of the things you wish to overcome and burn the shit out of it!

Add yours Comments – 67

  • taylor nikole

    on January 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    i added you brittany

  • Ashley

    on January 18, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    So Sunday is over

    Oh wow. After reading the Official CW description for the episode “Power” a few days ago, I’m dying to see it! Without mentioning anything…. damn! Allison, you had one hell of an episode to direct.
    Nonetheless, I’m positive you did a wonderful job.

    I’m overwhelmed. The class schedule is already out for one of my college classes. The last week…. 5 page journals due. Plural? More than one? And….script breakdown, shooting schedule, continuity log, diner script, camera report, shot list?? omg we have to write down *everything*.

  • medina

    on January 18, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Oh, Allison you was so close. ah… not necessary so close but…

    yur friend from Amazon

  • Lexie

    on January 19, 2009 at 8:43 am

    It sounds like you had an amazing cultural experience in Ecuador! Thanks for sharing your story. I love the symbolism of purging the old and starting anew!

    My resolution this year has been to lose twenty pounds, to develop healthier eating habits, and to exercise more. Thanks to the encouragement of my supportive husband, I have actually made progress toward achieving my goal. I have made small changes like these before, but after a few short weeks or months, I almost always revert back to my old habits. My ultimate goal is to make these changes permanent in my life. Time to purge those unhealthy habits and maintain a healthy, active me!

  • Brittany

    on January 19, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Thanks Taylor!

  • Jennifer

    on January 21, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I did it…last night I made a list like I said I would and burt the shirt out of it. Man that felt good.

  • Kris

    on January 21, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Sounds like an awesome trip Allison!

    And I only have a couple things that I’m going to focus on changing (because when the list gets too long, I kind of fizzle in my attempts at keeping New Year’s resolutions!)

    I will continue my journey toward being lean and healthy. I said goodbye to 30 pounds in 2008, and my goal is to drop at least another 30 in 2009.

    I’m also working very hard at becoming a penny-pinching tightwad because I have decided to start the life I wish I had committed to years ago. I’m planning on moving from CT to IN this summer and am going to go back to school for a Master’s degree, which is going to take a lot more financial restraint than I have always had (I’m aweful at saving money).

    Here’s hoping that 2009 brings everyone closer to their goals!

  • Aziza

    on January 24, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Hmmm, when I hear people burning effigies it seems they want to beat the crap out of someone.
    But I like this reason- it’s pure catharsis, like the death and reincarnation of a phoenix.
    Take care Allison!

  • Tom

    on January 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Allison,
    Ecuador sounds great – do you have any pics you could post? Your photography of China & Mexico on here is really enjoyable XxxX

  • Jair Reina

    on January 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m so happy you had fun in my county… 🙂
    I knew it!
    I saw you in the Quito’s airport but nobody believed me…
    I wanted to take a picture of us but my camera had no batteries… 🙁

  • alicia

    on February 3, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Ecuador is great!! Quito, Guayaquil, Galapagos Isles..all of this is beautifull!

  • alicia

    on February 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    an YES! Allison, You know perfectly where you go…

  • silvia

    on February 4, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Allison your back this is great you visited my country i hope you had spent an amazing time here in ecuador it a beautiful country isn’t it? i hope you will be back soon and this time you can visit guayaquil and manta and the amazon are great places…
    my new year was amazing we burnt the monigote and eat 12 grapes and apples we make wishes when we eat them

  • valeria

    on February 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I can not believe you were in my country, so not fair. No one here knew you were here, but smallville is very popular here, I hope you come back someday and visit my city Guayaquil. we also tend to burn some character that represents the best of the year, at least in my case, I have burnt spider-man, garfield, the gingerbread man, hello kitty, the pink power ranger when I was little, a powerpuff girl (bubbles), a baby bart simpson, and the list goes on, I always tend to burn cute stuff, hehe, but when it comes to burn bad stuff, I have burnt my notebooks from high school, you can burn whatever you want. I wish i knew how to send you a picture of one i burnt two years ago, some of the effigies as you call them, are very elaborate, and very well done.

  • sniffles

    on March 18, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Something really important is missing in your description !.. So if you really were in the streets of Quito for the new years eve, you would have mentionned it. But thank you anyway, it’s a nice story ; ) Next time, take 5 min. more to document yourself… (…/ves…)

  • Monik

    on April 5, 2009 at 12:09 am

    oh my goshh… is amazing i know the tradition of the effigy.. in my country is the same traditions and many more rare, but funnyyyy…
    sooo byee
    good life

  • Gabriel

    on April 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I’m glad you had fun. I was born in Ecuador, but raised in California. I travel back to Ecuador whenever I can, and each time I go it’s a blast! If you liked the new years celebrations, you really should go back in late June to see the “fiesta de los toros” (party of the bulls). It’s a lot of fun, kinda like the running of the bulls in Spain, but a little less dangerous. Maybe we can meet down there and my wife and I will take you on a real tour of the country! =)

    Take care, and congrats on your success with everything…