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Our new apartment is just around the corner from a park, plaza and church. The church is attached to a school and during school hours, children play soccer in the plaza. To me, it sounds quite competitive! Next week, I plan on going with Holly and Greta to watch for a little while. There's a rickety park right next to the church and fortunately my children think it's lovely. The church that we are close to is so beautiful. The white and red are really striking. It's called San Rogue. 

Conor cut some bamboo sticks for the girls to play with and since they've been playing ninjas/warriors, and planning their Halloween costumes. Always planning the Halloween costumes!

When it was time to go home (so I could go to a much needed yoga class!) Maeve insisted on walking herself the whole way home, while holding my hands. She only paused once. And that was to squawk and receive attention from two people we walked past. That's Maeve. 

We visited Parque La Carolina a second time. These crossfit zones in Quito are very popular and very much utilized. All three parks that we have visited so far have one.

Since visiting this park the first time, we went to the museum of Maria Augusta Urrutia's home. She was a very rich lady here in Quito in the early-mid 1900's. She had an especial fondness for helping children. Maria Augusta Urrutia donated the land for Parque la Carolina. 

Near our apartment, is two parks. One of them, Parque El Ejido has many play structures and a zip line. The zip line was quite an exciting find and everyone has been eager to get back!

Last Sunday, we went to Parque La Carolina with our very new (local) friends, Vivian, Diego and Emi. They were in an apartment a couple doors down for half of last week, but now they have returned to their home a few hours from here. It sure was fun to have friends for a few days! Their daughter played with our girls and I tried my best to speak spanish with Vivian. One night, after the children were asleep, we stayed up late playing an Ecuador card game called Cuarenta (40). 

Parque la Carolina is a big park, 165 acres. There are so many things within the park - play structures, lagoon, botanical garden, a track, soccer fields, vendors... it was very fun to go see it and extra special to spend time with new friends! We hope to see Vivian, Diego and Emi again. We have been invited to our home and will try to make that happen in our last month in Ecuador.

On our very first full day in Ecuador, I was tired and a little culture shocked! Before we came to Ecuador, I worked my buns off organizing and cleaning my house for the family who are staying there while we are gone. Moving into an apartment that isn't quite as clean and nice as my home was a bit of a stumble for me. I'm mostly over it now. We are in this apartment for a total of 2 weeks and then we go to Cuenca for 6 weeks. We are very confident that our apartment in Cuenca will be clean. There's someone who will come to clean it every couple of days... so... feeling good about that one. Our current apartment is a good size, probably about 1000 sq feet. Our next apartment will be smaller. Hopefully we don't kill each other!

On our first day here, we went to the Parque la Alameda which we can see from our apartment. Conor and the girls rented a row boat and were soaked by the water spraying up in the lagoon.

One thing that has surprised me about the city, Quito is that there really are stray dogs everywhere! It seems as though they have their territory. We see the same strays in Parque La Alameda. In a way that is reassuring. We saw that dog last time, it left us alone and didn't bite so it shouldn't bite today.

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