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This afternoon, we visited this Catholic museum. I walked right in because so far almost all the museums we’ve visited have been free! We’ve only paid for one. But I was quickly turned around and redirected to the front desk to pay admission for my daughters and myself. Whoops. While I did enjoy this museum, I liked the building and the lighting more than what the museum contains. I think I would have a greater appreciation if I were Catholic. As a Christian I still appreciate what I saw, but I’m sure not in the same way as someone who practices Catholicism. The building itself was really beautiful. I loved the wood floors, the painted wooden doors and the ceiling in each room was painted in stripes. The courtyards were dreamy. I sure enjoyed taking photos of my daughters here. I’m always chasing the perfect photo which is harder with three children instead of two. And a baby who likes to look away and do her own thing! Oh Maeve. I’m often wearing Maeve in the ergo, which makes it a little tricky to get her into photos. It takes a little more effort to get her out of the ergo and wiggling in her sisters’ arms! 

I really enjoy these afternoons when we get out and see things around town. So rewarding. 

Today was the second time the girls and I have visited this museum (it’s called Centro Interamericano de Artesanías y Artes Populares or CIDAP). Honestly, I think they like the gift shop next door more than the museum. I really like this little museum. It’s super close to our apartment, on the way to our favorite park. When I get home, maybe I will actually use the loom I bought and learn how to make some wall hangings! I definitely want to every time I visit this place. Today we walked through, strolled through the gift shop and then picked up a snack at the next door cafe. It’s these moments that are so wonderful. 

One problem with Ecuador is that we don’t have a high chair, but we do have a 15 month old baby who is a messy eater. We did primarily baby led weaning with Maeve so she’s used to feeding herself. Funnily enough, she eats more when we feed her. Meal time is usually a pretty big mess, but fortunately over the last almost 6 weeks, Conor and I have both chilled out about it. Maeve loves utensils, she loves eating off our plates and she loves avocados. Oddly, she would not touch avocados in the USA, but here she loves them! It’s not uncommon for me to be preparing a meal and giving her bites of avocado. It’s so funny to watch her scoot towards me with her mouth open. My little bird. 

Maeve, oh Maeve. Tonight when I was telling my mom about Maeve, she pointed out that one of the challenges this big age gap gives us is that Maeve is going to want to do what her sisters do and feel frustrated when she’s too young! Fortunately, the big sisters are really patient most of the time. I couldn’t help but snap a couple of photos of Maeve “helping” sweep. Add a couple annoyed squeals when she doesn’t get to do it her exact way and that’s my baby! Reminds me of Holly vacuuming when she was two.

We don’t have a dishwasher in our apartment which is kind of awesome. Conor and I keep meaning to give our girls more responsibility, but it’s easier to do everything ourselves. Here in Ecuador, the girls take turns doing dishes, wiping the table and sweeping. And it’s awesome. Of course, we sometimes still help them with dishes. But it’s been so great to have them pitch in more!

Also, those cheeks! 

The zoo here in Cuenca is a very worthwhile experience! We had heard and read good things, but we did not realize the treat we were in for! First things first, the zoo is on the side of a mountain and is absolutely not stroller friendly. The paths are rugged and steep. Fortunately, Maeve’s favorite mode of transportation is the ergo and we didn’t even bring a stroller. If I was going to this zoo with a 2-3 year old, I would want a back pack carrier for sure. The zoo is one big loop of one way paths so all of it needs to be experienced if you want to make it to the exit. A lot of families passed us! We were soaking up our first visit.

One of the first animals we saw was the Andean bears and lucky us, when we arrived at their very large enclosure, they were about to be fed. A female bear came lumbering down to the spot the keeper throws the food. He threw her some mango and papaya. Then the keep called the male bear’s name to get him to come and have something to eat. And sure enough, he made an appearance. It was pretty cool! 

There were a ton of snakes and frogs and other animals native to South America. The condors were a neat thing to see and the monkeys were one of our favorites! Near the end of our visit, the rain hit pretty hard for 5-10 minutes. We somehow lucked out and were back near the covered lunch tables and managed to stay reasonably dry. But after the rain, the trails were pretty muddy and slippery. We had to be careful as we descended.

Lunch at the zoo was seco de pollo (rice, chicken and a small salad) for me and hot dogs for the girls and a sandwich for Conor. I love seco de pollo. It’s so simple and so reliable and so Ecuadorian.

Once we finished at the zoo, we walked down to the highway where we thought we would be able to hail a taxi, but I guess it’s illegal for taxis to stop on the highway? So that was a little tricky but eventually it all worked out. Just a part of the experience! 

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