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“Holly & Greta”

We just had to visit this chocolate factory one more time. I think I understood that one day a week, older women come in a make chocolate using the traditional method, but maybe I didn't understand? Anyways, not to worry. This chocolate factory is incredible. We went with out friend that I met at yoga class in Cuenca. It's so fun to have real live friends! I bought some unsweetened chocolate. Hoping it makes it home ok with me so that I can make hot chocolate and ice cream. 

Holly and Greta wore their new traditional Cuencan outfits. Finding these skirts and blouses for a decent price was a big win! 

A couple pics from the best park in Cuenca! This swing set is so much fun and would never be permitted in the USA because the kids can totally kick each other if they are tall enough and get going high enough!

During school hours, we see a lot of school groups doing physical education. On this day, we saw a bunch of little children riding around on bicycles. Wouldn't it be so neat if schools back home had enough bikes for a class? I've seen older school children (like junior/middle schooled age) riding bikes too!

This past week, we visited a couple of museums with our tutor, one of which was the sombrero museum. I have been told and read so many times that panama hats are not from Panama, they are from Ecuador. I didn't anticipate the cost of some of the hats. While there were hats for $25, there were also hats for $800! I'm not ashamed to say we left the museum empty handed.

There is a beautiful view of the city from the cafe. I really liked the re-purposed hat molds turned planters. 

This week we were big spenders at the Artisan market (same place I was cleansed at). Holly, Greta and I went while Maeve slept and Conor worked. The girls have both been pining for Ecuadorian dolls and when we were initially packing our stuff to come here, we promised to get them some jugetes de Ecuador (Ecuador toys). So 5 weeks in, I finally made good on my promise. Holly and Greta each got a doll, a clay pot and a miniature spoon. I bought a couple of wooden spoons, a tool for mashing potatoes/plantains and I couldn't help but expand Maeve's musical instrument collection with a set of maracas. It was lunch time at the market and cuy was on the menu with many people eating it. We bought plantain chips, popcorn, salad of tomato and green onion with a tomato juice poured over it and lime juice. Oh my goodness it was delicious! There were two other ingredients that are typically mixed in, but Greta only wanted what was familiar to her. Next time, I'm getting it with all the fixings! 

On the walk home, the rain came down hard and we got pretty wet!

Cluade Monet wraps up our study of artists for now. I'm sure we will do more, but, for now we will take a rest. Monet was such a prolific artists and correspondingly, there are many children books written about him. We had no problems borrowing books about Monet from the library! My favorite two books about Monet are actually from the same series, Katie and the Waterlily Pond, and Katie and the Impressionists

For our art work, we painted a water scene with cotton balls, and then made water lilies once it was dry. For the second art project, we stamped with flowers, and once that dried, we scraped blue paint across to make a water scene. I'm so happy with how this turned out.

Now hopefully, I'll have the energy to move onto one or two sewing projects. 

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