Here’s everything tagged


One of our most favorite parts of the Amaru Bioparque Cuenca Zoologico (Cuenca Zoo) was this one pathway through a thicket of trees in which small monkeys lived. We almost walked straight through without realizing just how close we were to these adorable animals. And then we all lost our minds when we saw the teeny-tiny monkey on it’s momma’s back! Seriously, go watch this video Conor posted on his Instagram account. We totally wanted to tuck that baby monkey into our backpack and bring it home with us. Obviously we didn’t. I think one of the amazing parts of this experience was that there was no fence separating us from the monkeys. They were right there so close! Holly and Greta both have a new found obsession for monkeys (they started playing “monkeys” before we left the zoo!) and Maeve was like, “meh, I’m cuter.”

I wish every day was Saturday.

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!

We were super lucky to have made friends with a family from Cuenca. We met the wife in the airport in Quito and they have been so kind and generous towards us. This past week, we invited them over for lunch and I made soup that didn’t have enough salt! Our friends adore Maeve just like every other person in Ecuador. Her bottom scoot is so unique and endearing. 

We’ve generally found that the men here in Cuenca are more friendly than the women. I’ve had a harder time making friends than Conor has, which could just be because of me? I don’t know. The woman at church are kind but they aren’t as warm and friendly as the women in Quito. We are hanging on to the friendships we have and working to forge new ones. 

I’ve “gone native”! This past week, I made chicken stock from chicken feet. Here’s the problem, I can’t buy ready made stock at the grocery store. So I have to make my own, which I do all the time at home, however, at home, I use the bones from a whole roasted chicken, never chicken feet. Well that all changed! At the market, I bought chicken feet, $1 for a pound. When I told the vendor that this was my first time buying chicken feet for stock, she very kindly threw in a couple extras!

Thanks to google, I found out that I needed to pre boil the feet and then cut off the claws (gag!). And then let them simmer for 4 hours. I did it and the stock is really good. It’s been helpful to have on hand for some recipes. Soup is a huge staple here in the Andes of Ecuador. Stock makes everything taste better.

Couldn’t help but take some pictures. This experience showed me how far removed from my food I am in America. People handle their meat so differently here. In America, there is so much fear about what we eat and so many are timid when handling raw meat, myself included. 

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