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We have been in Cuenca for a week now. We first arrived on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday were a big holiday - Carnival. Unfortunately we timed everything all wrong. A lot of people go to the coast for carnival and in Cuenca, Carnival is celebrated with a massive water and soap fight in the central park down town the Thursday before Carnival. So we totally missed it! Our first few days here in Cuenca the city was so sleepy and it really threw me off! After being in busy, busy Quito for 2 weeks the contrast was huge and had me really worried. The market was closed and we had a couple interactions with locals that wasn’t very positive. But no worries, Wednesday everything perked up. The streets are busy and there are lots of people out and about. 

So far, Cuenca has been good! It was very nice to go to church today and meet some people who live here. We spent yesterday with our new friends. 

We are happy with our apartment. It’s much cleaner than the last and has a big patio balcony. We have hot water in the kitchen (!) and the shower isn’t so finicky although I do wish it would get warmer than it is. We seem to have landed in a good location too. 

Our apartment overlooks the Rio Tomebamba. It’s beautiful to walk along the river. What is it about bodies of water that is so peaceful? 

Like just about every child in the world, my daughters love to throw rocks into water. We happily did that one afternoon. One thing I love about being here for an extended period of time instead of a 2 week vacation, is that we have time to sit on the side of the river and throw rocks. We aren’t stressed to pack everything into a small amount of time. It’s really great!

Our last Saturday in Quito…

Funny how I was so overwhelmed and crying when we arrived, but leaving was SO hard. We loved the people we met. We hope to make similar connections here in Cuenca.

Our last Saturday, we went to a park with our friends. It was wonderful and chill. Then we went and ate comida rapido (fast food), which may have made Conor sick… It was that or tap water. 

Our last Saturday in Quito, we went to our friend’s for lunch and it was AMAZING! The lunch was soup with fish, yuca and fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and onions. Just like the ceviche at the church, the soup was topped with popcorn and plantain chips. It was so good. I did not want to stop eating! We were also served naranjilla juice and a fruit that only grows in Ecuador and is only available for one month of the year. It’s called Sapote and it’s very different from any other fruit I’ve ever eaten.

Holly and Greta got to have a soap fight and a water fight with their friend, followed by a warm shower.

We were so incredibly blessed by the hospitality of this family! They had actually invited us for lunch the Saturday previous and we feel so bad that we didn’t fully understand!

Here are some photos of Guayasimin’s home. It took over a decade to built and he built it with the intention of it becoming a museum one day. The whole building felt very thoughtful and was filled with light. I wouldn’t say no to living here!

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