Bolivia - Jasper

Amazon without mosquitoes

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By Jasper – Our trip to the Amazon was Feb. 14 – 18

The Amazon was really fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our family was in a group by ourselves so we got a lot of attention from our guide. We did so many different sightseeing activities but also some other different types.
The Amazon was not what I expected at all. One of the things that I didn’t expect was that there were not very many mosquitos at all. That surprised me because it was the wet season and normally in the wet season there are a lot of mosquitos. This surprised even our guide. Another thing that I didn’t expect was the heat. The regular temperature was around 38˚C. One thing that I was disappointed about was when we got to swim with the dolphins they didn’t come near us, and everybody else said that the dolphins came right near them. It was still really cool to swim around one foot away from DOLPHINS though!!!!!

Mi parte favorito de la selva Amazónica fue cuando fuimos en un bote para encontrar monos y encontramos dos tucanes, y tres búhos. También encontramos muchos monos, los monos vinieron en nuestro bote y jugaron, fue muy gracioso porque los monos son muy pequeños y jugaban casi básicamente a dos pies de distancia de nosotros. Unos diez minutos después de que vimos el mono, comenzó a llover muy fuerte. Nuestro guía dijo eso cuando estaba lloviendo un poquito. Yo pensé que el fue muy inteligente en la selva Amazónica.

One day we went looking for Anacondas on foot. One part that I didn’t like very much was that it was so hot…almost 40˚C! We saw quite a few capybaras, a couple of lizards that were actually a good size, and lots of cool birds. The two coolest animals that we saw during the walk were a green snake that was around 1.5 feet long and a couple of caimans getting hot in the sun, or some other ones just peeking their head out of the water.

The eco-lodge accommodation where we stayed was actually quite comfortable; surprisingly it was a big area. In the big area there were a number of huts, one of which was for our family. An unusual event happened when we were staying there: there was a frog in our toilet, which I think got there by the pipe system. Also, there was a bat in our house that I never actually got to see, but the rest of my family did. In the mornings or when we came back from an activity, there would be bat poop and frog poop all over the place. Luckily, we had the mosquito nets over our beds so they could not poop directly on our beds!! There were also Howler Monkeys hanging out high up in the trees in the area, and a few times we saw them go to the bathroom (number 1 and 2) and watched it fall all the way to the ground.. splat!!

At the eco-lodge, there was also a large cabin where you could relax or play pool. I tried to go up there everyday, and I did. It was really fun because I really like to play all of the games like Ping-Pong, foosball, shuffleboard, and of course pool. My favourite is Ping-Pong though. Anyway, back to the Amazon. One more thing that I was surprised and happy about was that all of our meals were made for us and I really liked all of the meals. It makes sense to me now, but I didn’t think of it when we were in the Amazon that they have to bring all of the food by boat. This idea only occurred to me after we left the Amazon.

La selva Amazónica es un lugar muy interesante. Todos los animales son muy interesantes y la comida es muy buena si vas a la compañía Mashaquipe, el la pequeña ciudad donde comienzas la selva Amazónica es también muy agradable y acogedora. El ciudad se llama Rurrenabaque, solo tiene 15,000 personas.



Bolivia - Macy

My experience of Carnaval in Bolivia

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Carnaval is a celebration to honor Mother Earth…named………Pacha Mama here in South America. But of course kids might not want to do that, so instead they get a day to play. That day, in La Paz, our family decided to go to where the celebrations were happening. I did not know that we were going to get covered in foam, which they call “espumilla”. But when we did get covered in the foam……… I was really happy. People sell hundreds and hundreds of cans of the foam in the street. The foam was kind of like shaving cream and soap. Luckily it was not sticky, which I was pretty happy about. But the only thing that I did not like was that the kids went right for your face. It kind of stung when it got in your eyes. I found it quite interesting. Of course, us tourists were the main targets. I actually loved the Carnaval surprisingly. For one of the days our family went to a parade.

The parade was not what I was expecting, because it was a lot of traditional dancing. I loved it. It also was really fun to watch. People were in the middle of the street dancing and having lots of fun. Some people who were not dancing just walked right through the people who were dancing. It was quite frustrating to watch, but maybe that is just what their culture does. That does not change what I think. The parade was quite interesting. I noticed that not everyone that was dancing was happy, I am not sure why. Maybe they were tired and just did not want to dance, just an idea. The weather was pretty cold. So I was freezing. But I still watched the parade.

Even though this parade day was not foamy, soapy, espumilla day or whatever you want to call it, the dancers still got sprayed with the stuff. We would see them coming down and dancing with the foamy stuff on them. Our family got sprayed too. When we were about to leave, these teenagers had a bottle of the foamy stuff and started shaking it. Jasper and I knew that they were going to spray us. I think they said “Vamos á espumar los niños”; which means, “let’s spray the kids”, so they came running over and sprayed with all their power! I was happy and even colder and soaked. But that was okay because we knew that we were going to get sprayed at some point.

The owners of the place that we were staying at celebrated Carnaval like most other people do in La Paz. Their names were Eneida and Bernardo. They asked us to join them in their celebrations, and had already bought extra things for us. So we decided to join them. It was a lot of being patient because there was a lot of waiting for the different parts of the celebration to happen and be finished. A big part of the celebration included something called “La Mesa”, which means “The Table”.   La Mesa is slowly put together and eventually put on the fire, all to feed Pacha Mama. We lit a baby llama on fire, but don’t worry it was already dead and was not going to be born. There were lots of sweets, nuts, coca leaves, llama fat and other things in La Mesa. Then we lit the fire with some very powerful alcohol. If you were the person to light the fire you had to drink a few sips of the alcohol. Bernardo was the person who had to light the fire and had to drink the alcohol. It looked like it was too strong and hurt him. I got to drink sweet wine; I actually liked it a lot. I was nervous when we had to offer to Pacha Mama by going around the fire and pouring some wine onto the ground, because there were a lot of other people watching.

Un poquito de carnaval en Español

Carnaval no es un Carnaval para jugar. Carnaval es una celebración en América del Sur, es para representar pacha mama. Estuvimos en La Paz para esta celebración. Me gusta esa celebración mucho. Es un poquito divertido. Pacha mama es la madre de la tierra pero ellos dicen pacha mama.

En su cultura ellos creen que pacha mama tiene hambre y también ellos creen que necesitan alimentarla. Y la sacerdotisa que vino dijo que mis abuelos son hambres y necesitan comida.


All the small things….

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February 11, 2018

Currently I sit here at the kitchen table in our truly lovely AirBnB, waiting for my coffee – not only to take in it’s enchanting taste, but also to warm up my frozen fingers, hoping that warmth cascades down to my toes and maybe even makes it’s way up to my nose. Or, perhaps I can just dunk my nose into the delicious coffee and kill two birds with one stone? Now, please don’t confuse this with a grievance…it is simply information for anyone wondering what part of daily living is like in Bolivia and many, many other parts of South America where there is a lot of rain, morning temperatures of 6-8 degrees and no heating systems outside of a few space heaters that are reserved for bedrooms. Just an FYI.

I have not done a blog entry for quite some time, not because I have had nothing to say (you can corroborate this with my family); but this does leave me at the proverbial “Where to start?” place. I suppose the first thing that stands out for me is that we have been gone for over four months now, leaving us with barely over two left. Without sinking too deeply into my psyche, suffice it to say that that sentence alone causes a lot of mixed emotions!

I have had many people ask me, “Is the trip what you had hoped for?” or something along those lines, and I find that a complicated question to answer. Mostly, the answer is absolutely yes! It has been sincerely amazing! However, the answer does not come without some personal doubts or fears of potential regret for not making it “all that it could have been”.   Uh oh…this is feeling awfully close to the precipice of my psyche, I shall move along 😉

Where there is no doubt in my mind, is that I have had an abundance of experiences in all of the countries that have been remarkable for many different reasons, and those experiences have been shared with my beautiful family. This is what leaves a glorious imprint on my heart. The “things” that I can assuredly say impact me the greatest are those where I feel I am truly catching a glimpse into someone’s life and culture that is vastly different from my own. This can come from walking down a nondescript, residential street in La Paz and catching a peek through an open door to see, hear and often smell what life lives within; or from hiking up the mountains in the Sacred Valley of Peru past a tiny village where they cultivate a small crop of potatoes, and two little girls with grubby clothes and curious, but tentative smiles watch us weirdoes hike past; or from visiting a local, collective farm in Sucre, Bolivia where four women have been certified in organic farming and they share with us their methods before we get to sit with them and enjoy a delicious lunch they have prepared from their vegetables.

I know it sounds obvious to acknowledge how many quirks of South America have become normal for me over the last four months, but it especially intrigues me how these quirks have become normal for the kids. For example, the traditional dress of the women initially was something that warranted finger-pointing and picture-taking, but now we don’t bat an eye at it. It’s things like the little tiendas (stores) selling a complete hodgepodge of items where they have bars on the front that you have to make your transaction through; the shoddy condition of roads; women and their small children selling a small pile of limes on the side of the street; crossing the streets where pedestrians essentially are playing a game of Frogger; buying milk and yogurt from the shelves not the fridge; tons of stray, homeless dogs living in all sorts of places including on top of roofs; seatbelts as optional and often non-existent (ugh); the colourful, crazy markets that I just adore no matter how normal they have begun to feel; Myles completely towering over almost everyone; old women the size of Jasper and Macy walking up steep roads carrying loads heavier than each of the two kids; putting used toilet paper in the garbage, NOT the toilet; 10 people piled into a taxi; homes made from anything and everything that look as though they may fall apart; electrical wiring systems that would scare any average Canadian; and the list goes on…..and on.

These are the things that I have come to find odd comfort in.

All of these quirks and idiosyncrasies of South America are one piece of the experience here that fades into our background of novelty, but will forever bring wonderful memories. What I haven’t mentioned, and perhaps won’t dive into in this blog, is the immense natural beauty of these countries. I have fallen in love with the Andes Mountains and all of the environmental magnificence that is around every corner I turn. Don’t worry Rockies, you will always have my heart and I cannot wait to return to your loving arms!!!!   I have pictures upon pictures of the radiance and exquisiteness of these mountains and skies and rivers, and often I cannot find the right words to accurately define how I feel…but I hope to return one day and walk on the trails and meet the mountains that viscerally seem to be calling me to explore.

That is all for now, as we are off to one of the many Carnaval celebratory parades today!





Perú - Macy

My adventures in the Sacred Valley – Part I

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In the Sacred Valley we went to Urubamba (which means spider in Quechua) and Pisac.

Pisac is a really really beautiful small little town with farm land and big lush mountains surrounding it. Our family did many hikes out of the area. One example was going to see big and extraordinary waterfalls, called Perolinyoc, with mist spraying at us. Also that same day we saw some amazing ruins. We ate lunch at the ruins and had an AMAZING view, and when I mean amazing, I mean amazing!!! We saw big mountains, cows and more.

We also did another hike to see more ruins, that hike was called Pisac Ruins. That day we just wanted to go for a walk, but instead we crossed a blue bridge hanging over a rushing loud roaring stream. From then on it was a whole new experience. We had to go through a lot of prickly bushes and through many ant hills. It was such an adventure!! There was a little bit of a wrinkle in our hike, and…… I’ll tell you why. It’s a very, very funny story. When we were walking up the intense, steep, hard, rock stairs (which, P.S we did not know that we were not supposed to be walking up until now) a guard came towards us. Our family was thinking, ”Okay we need to to act like we speak no Spanish and pretend to be confused because we did not buy the ticket. Here he comes!¨ The guard started talking in Spanish and my dad tried having a bad Spanish accent, but later told us he hated having a bad Spanish accent. The guard asked ¨Where is your ticket?”, but in Spanish. My dad responded, “I don’t have it,” in English; and again in Spanish, the guard responded with, “Go buy it at the top!”.

Meanwhile, when they were discussing the tickets and bleh bleh blehness, Jasper and I were laughing and turning away. I felt a little nervous that the guy was going to send more security over, but luckily he did not. At the end of the conversation my dad and the guard kindly shook hands and he let us move up the long set of stairs. When our family got to the top of the ruins, I was really tired and my legs were also very tired. At the top it was a really amazing view. It was totally worth the long hike. Still today I am very proud of myself!!!!!!!!!!

The people in Pisac were really nice, at least from my experience. They were also very different in many ways, such as how they live, eat and take care of their kids. The traditional ladies have very long hair and most of the time they have braids in it and yarn in the braids to keep the braids looking good all day. People also work very differently than in Calgary; for example the communities up in the mountains, or people farming out of nowhere. What I mean by this is that there can be a road and houses and then suddenly a section of farmland. Then while these people doing all of that fun stuff (at least I think it looks fun) other people are trying to earn money by selling things that are a tourist attraction so that tourists will buy their things….. and in the end everyone will be happy. Sometimes people even sell chickens in the market on Sundays, because they think that people will buy them for eggs.

Pisac es un pueblo muy, muy bonita. Porque hay montañas circundante el pueblo. Pero en Pisac hay muchas turistas. No me gusta este parte de Pisac. También hay muchas locales en la calle vendiendo recuerdos de Pisac y peluches como conejillos, conejos y muchas mas animales. Yo compré un peluche de un conejillo.

Perú - Jasper

The Sacred Valley

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The Sacred Valley
In this blog I will be talking about my experience in the Sacred Valley. I will be talking about Machu Picchu and all of the little towns in the Sacred Valley.


The start of the Sacred Valley was in Pisac. It was a very small town, and a bit too touristy to for our liking. Apparently we were staying in the Beverly Hills of Pisac according to some local travelers. It was a pretty nice place, we got free breakfast, and the breakfast was actually quite good. Get this it was made by only one chef.

My favourite restaurant in Pisac was called Ulrike’s. They served a Menú, oh and by the way a menú is a lunch thing where you can get a starter, a second and sometimes a dessert. I thought that this was a pretty good deal, because if you got a normal main dish it would be more than the menú.

There were some scary things about the house. One was that there were some scorpions that were around two centimetres long and they frightened my sister so much that she didn’t want to sleep in the bed near where the scorpion was.

During the stay in Pisac we met a lovely Canadian fellow named Mike. We bumped into him quite a few times because Pisac is such a small town. Pisac was just an ok town for me at least, it was quite expensive and there were toooooooooo many tourists.


When we first arrived in Urubamba I thought that it would be a small town, only a little but bigger than Pisac. I didn’t find out what it looked like until the next day because our family was so tired that we didn’t feel like walking into town on the first day.

When we got to our accommodation, there was a dog than ran up to us and sniffed us. You know I’m a dog lover so I was obviously petting it. His name was Bagel, (he was a beagle). He was a pretty cute dog, really strong so when he jumped up on you, you would practically get knocked over.

Our house was really nice, the owner’s house was around three times the size of our cottage. They even had a swimming pool. It was so cold that my sister and I had to wear our wet suits in the pool. Even when we wore or wet suits it would still be cold. I liked it the most when it was a sunny day so I would dry pretty quickly.

One of the nights they invited us over for wine. My sister and I weren’t allowed to have wine, but I wish I was allowed to have beer. It tastes like apple juice for me. I can’t wait until I’m eighteen and I’m allowed to drink beer.


The first impression of Cusco wasn’t great, it seemed like a huge town with a lot of space. When I say big I mean big in space wise. Also our apartment wasn’t the greatest, it literally froze my legs off. It is also really tucked away into the building.

After being there my dad made a decision with the family about going back to Cuenca for three weeks. We were going to stay in Cusco for the full six weeks but when we saw the apartment and the city we decided to eventually go back to Cuenca for three weeks and stay in Cusco for the other three weeks. My mom said and I think that it’s true, that we haven’t given Cusco much of chance. We had only stayed there for two nights.

Hikes that we’ve done

I can’t name all of the hikes that we’ve done but I will try to name some of them. Well let’s start with the Chupani Ruins hike. It was the longest one. It was around seven and a half hours including breaks. One of the things that was exciting about the hike was that we did it with a group. One of the guys in the group was really nice and taught my sister and I about how the Incas grew their potatoes. At the top of the hike we had some great views of the valley. Our main guide said that another 2 days further there is a town. She explained how much she wanted to do that trek. The hike was twenty kilometres starting from our house in Urubamba.

The only other hike that I remember clearly was the waterfall and the ruins of Perolniyoc. I know it’s hard to say, I can’t even say it. In total it was about 4 to 5 hours. The reason it was hard is because it was all uphill and then all downhill. Hard on one part of the legs at one time, and hard on the other part of the leg at the other time. You should have seen the view at the top of the ruins. You couldn’t see any towns but it was still really amazing. This hike was also long to0, it was around seventeen to eighteen kilometres. There are a bunch of other hikes but I forget most of the details of them.

Some things that I miss…

Here are some things that I miss other than my family and my friends.

First thing that I miss is Cheerios, if you don’t know what Cheerios are, well they are a type of cereal. I really miss them because most of the times after soccer I would come home and have a pretty big bowl of Cheerios.

I also really miss the milk at home. Here I don’t like having just a plain glass of it. It is only ok when there is some cereal with the milk.

The last food that I miss is the bread at home (It’s called Good Haven), I’m pretty sure that it is called good haven bread. Pretty much every morning I have a peanut butter sandwich with jam and that type of bread.

Actually there are two more things. They are peanut butter and ketchup.

Well the peanut butter here is not natural. Sorry there is natural but it is quite a bit more expensive. It’s weird because you can buy peanuts for pretty cheap but natural peanut butter is really expensive. It’s sad because we now have to buy treat peanut butter. I like the taste of treat peanut butter but it gets old. However natural peanut butter doesn’t get old.

Oh ya! I forgot, ketchup is the other one. It’s not as bad here but in Cuenca it was the sweetest type of ketchup I have ever had. I know what you’re going to say. “The ketchup here is sweet”, no, no, no, no, not even as close in sweetness as in Cuenca. The ketchup in Perú and in Bolivia is not as bad but still sweeter than Calgary or wherever you people live. Well those are the foods that I miss.

Mi experiencia en general del Valle Sagrado

El Valle Sagrado es uno de los momentos más buenos de tú vida. Puedes ver muchísimas cosas que no puedes ver en otras partes del mundo.

Unas partes cuando no quieres levantar de tú cama, pero necesitas. Esas partes son de todas las días de tú vida.

Algunas de las partes que me gustaban eran que esta en las montañas toda el tiempo, puede tener un fuego en la casa. Hay muchísimas cosas pero no puedo mencionar todos.

Cuando estábamos manejando yo pude ver las comunidades en las partes altas de las montañas. Me preguntaba cómo sería vivir en esas comunidades. Pienso que no tienen agua corriendo, ni electricidad, pero todavía están felices.

Chau Jasper


Perú - Jasper

Perú so far.

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In this blog I will be talking about Perú so far, my experiences, my thoughts, where we’ve been, and finally what we’ve been doing for the last three weeks.

When I first arrived in Lima, on December 21st, I was sooo excited because I knew that we were going to be in Perú for the next month and a bit. I was really tired on the drive to our apartment because that day we had already driven three and a half hours to get to Guayaquil. After we got to Guayaquil we took an hour long flight to get to Lima.

When we got to our apartment, I felt too tired to even unpack, but I still had to. Our apartment was around two blocks from the beach. My parents said that we couldn’t go into the water because after Lima we would be going to a beach town for Christmas. We still got some nice walks along the beach. We were allowed to throw rocks in, not when somebody was straight in front of us though. My sister and I built big rock mountains so when a wave came we could stand on top of the mountain and laugh at the wave because it wouldn’t be able to touch us because we were too high.

Lima is one of the more civilized cities in South America. It has a little bit over ten million people, it is also one of the rich cities in South America. You would still see beggars though. It was really expensive, you couldn’t get a meal for less than seventy five soles for the whole family, which is about thirty Canadian dollars.

The apartment itself was pretty nice, the area that we were in was really nice, one of the nicer neighbourhoods in Lima. I wouldn’t go back to Lima again, only if I had to. It was neat to see a really big city like that though.

Huanchaco es un lugar muy pequeño cerca del ciudad de Trujillo. Huanchaco es en la costa oeste al lado del Océano Pacífico. Nos estábamos quedando en una Casa Naranja. Esa casa fue casi el casa más grande de todo Huanchaco.

Tiene una terraza que cuando el atardecer se acabo fue muy bonito. Casi todos los días fuimos a la playa, en la play hacemos “bodyboarding”. Fue muy divertido cuando mi padre vino conmigo porque el me empujó cuando una ola estaba viendo y yo cabalgué la ola. Todo el tiempo mi mama queda en la playa, estaba mirándonos porqué ella no le gusta agua fría. Yo estaba triste porque mama no venía conmigo.

A lot of the nights in Huanchaco we would go to the bakery on the corner of our street and buy a piece of pie. After we would buy the piece of pie we would go back to the house and maybe watch a couple of episodes of Friends, or watch a movie. The owners of the place lived at the house too. The house is basically like an apartment with three floors. We were staying on the second floor, and the owners were staying on the third floor. The owners’ names were Robby and Gina. They said that there were going to be other people staying on the first floor for a little bit of time while we were saying there too.

One of the days that we were there my sister and I ran along a beach that was sandy. We liked this beach because most of the other beaches were rocky. My sister and I would run really fast, at least that’s what it felt like. When a wave would come we would run even faster and try to dodge the wave. Sometimes when I ran, it felt like I was as fast as Usain Bolt. I knew I wasn’t, but it felt like it.

Christmas and New Year
Navidad fue un poquito diferente, porque no tuvimos nuestra familia. No tuvimos un árbol muy grande ni decoraciones. En la mañana del día de navidad mis padres dijeron que Papá Noel no pudo venir. Por eso ellos compraron un poquito de regalos para mi hermana y yo. Los regalos son los mismos que los en el calceta. Yo estaba feliz porque tuvimos un poquito de regalos. Fue una navidad diferente y un poquito triste.

New Years
New Years was a bit different than I thought it would be. The day before New Years it was really busy as people from the bigger city called Trujillo came to the beach. That night people partied from around 5pm to 7am the next day. When my parents woke up they said that they saw people drinking beer and snogging at 7:30am on the corner of the street. It was quite a bit busier in Huanchaco than I thought it would be.

Estoy enamorado para ir a La Valle Sagrado. Vamos a quedar en la Valle Sagrado para tres semanas. Yo e tenido un tiempo muy divertido en Lima y en el pueblito Huanchaco.

Gracias, Jasper

Perú - Macy

It’s Perú time…

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OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!
We are half way through our, trip that is so crazy to think that is actually true.
We have been through Ecuador and now we are in Perú.
So far in Peru we have been to Lima and Huanchaco and now we are in the Sacred Valley for a bit.

I will tell you my opinion about Lima.

There are pros and cons about Lima; my opinion is that I personally would not go back to Lima because it is expensive, big and noisy. But there are still pros about Lima, like it is really fun at the beach to play, there are lots of restaurants to eat at and it is a safe place in some parts of the city.

We stayed in a neighbourhood called Miraflores. Mirflores is a big neighbourhood. Okay enough about Lima let’s talk about the beach town called… HUANCHACO!!!!


Huanchaco is a small beach town near Trujillo. The pope also known as the “papa” (en Español) is going on a South American trip to various countries this month. What I do know is that the pope is going to Lima and Huanchaco. That is why the construction workers are building a stage for the pope and there are signs everywhere for him. There is supposed to be something like in and around 1,000,000 people coming to Huanchaco to see the pope/Papa. I know, that’s a lot of people!!!!!!!!!!

Our house was called “La casa naranja” which means the orange house because our house was orange. Almost every day we went to the beach. The water was really cold and there were lots of rocks because there was a flood that apparently damaged Trujillo more than Huanchaco.

Near Huanchaco there is a mall that is an outdoor mall. And in that mall there is a store named Tottus and that is where we got our boogie boards.

The first day it was more of a play day because our family did not know what to expect, if the water was going to be cold or rocky. That is why we did not bother to go look and shop to see if there were water shoes available. The next day we decided to get everything done, buying watershoes, groceries etc. so that we could play and boogie board the rest of the time.

When jasper and I were running on the beach I felt so happy and grateful to be at the beach.

I was so happy when I rode my first wave because I had never ridden one before.


El agua en Huanchaco es muy frio y hay muchas rocas en el frente de la playa. Porque hace 3 años, hubo un inundación en Huanchaco pero dañó Trujillo muchísima mas que Huanchaco. Pero ahora no hay nada dañó. Aunque hay muchas rocas en el frente no hay problema porque compramos zapatos para el agua, y tenemos “BODY BOARDS”. Los “BODY BOARDS” son muy divertidos cuando estoy en las olas.

En general mi experiencia en Huanchaco fue buena.


Nos vemos.


Cuenca - Jasper

Adios Cuenca…

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Cuenca is coming to an end, it’s sad but also exciting for the next place that we go to. Sadly my mom’s parent’s aka our grandparents are gone. It was sad to see them leave, and now another set of grandparents are coming. It’s not as sad as it would be if nobody else were coming. It’s going to be really sad when my dad’s parent’s aka our other grandparents leave because we won’t get to see any family for almost four months. We will be doing so many more adventures that it will make the time go by really quickly.

Another sad thing that happened was we had to say good-bye to our Spanish teacher Luis. The day after he left he sent us a really, really nice email talking about how good we were to him. He also told us that the card we gave to him was going to be placed on his special shelf where he only puts the most important things that he owns (special books, pictures of family etc.). It took us quite a bit of time to write him an equally as nice email because of how busy we were. I don’t even know what my parents said because they wrote and sent the email and I have not had very much time to ask them what they said. He was the nicest Spanish teacher’s anyone could ever have asked for. At least that’s what I think.


Here are some of the differences that you can find in Cuenca. First one is the time that you can take to cross a street. So you know in Calgary it’s only around 20 seconds, well here it can get as high as 75 seconds, just to cross a 25-meter road. Man! People are either really lazy here or they can just walk at a normal speed when they’re about 500 meters away from the start of the road.

Another difference is that their roads in the center of the city are made out of cobblestones. It’s really bumpy when a motorcycle rides on it or a small car like the one that we rented to go to a lot of the places that we have been to. When you look closely at the road you can see where the cars have driven.

The final difference that I think is most important for travelers like us is people stay up really late here. They party until around 2 in the morning and then they’re not tired the next day. It’s very surprising to me. Well I guess in Canada it gets darker earlier in the winter, so people stay at home.

The Zoo

A couple of days ago we went to the zoo called Amaru Zoológico Bioparque. There are so many animals in the zoo including lots of reptiles and amphibians. Quite a few more than the Calgary zoo. It is also on a mountainside so it’s a pretty good walk, especially for my grandparents.

There were two very interesting things that you can see at the zoo. First is the lion feeding at 1:00pm. The lion exhibit is about half way through the whole zoo and I think it is the most interesting thing to see at the zoo. They put enormous amounts of meat, 40 pound pieces (they need to haul them in a wheelbarrow) and then hide them so the lions actually get some exercise. If they just threw it over the fence, the lions would fight each other and then sleep right then and there. Zero exercise.

The second thing that is interesting to see is the Ardillan monkeys. Lucky enough we got there when the monkeys were near the café. Those little hands of theirs were so quick that you didn’t have enough time to snatch back whatever they took. One of the monkeys jumped on a lady and tried to steal food. She didn’t let him though.

One of the things that we saw that was horrible was people feeding a monkey a plastic water bottle. The monkey tried to chew on the plastic but lucky it couldn’t. They basically taunted the monkey to grab it. They were not very nice. Then they tried to feed it another bottle to try to get the other one back. Weird humans.

Él tour de la ciudad en autobus

Yo fui en un tour de autobús con los padres de mi mama. Mis abuelos. Fuimos a las diez y media de la mañana. El lugar dónde compramos los boletos fue en el hotel de ellos. Después necesitamos caminar al parque central. Allí el autobús nos recoge. Era un autobús de dos pisos. Era un día caluroso, fue buena que era caluroso porque muchísimas de las días eran lluviosos. En total fue casi 2 horas. Solo hay un lugar que puedes ir al suelo y caminar un poquito. Hay un parque en el parte debajo. Mi hermana y yo jugamos allí por casi 15 minutos. Solo tenemos 45 minutos en total para caminar. Después necesitamos ir en el bus otra vez.


Casi todos los semanas a las martes vamos a nadar. Solo con mi papa y mi hermana. Tomamos un taxi allí. Y cuando caminamos a la casa, es casi 35 minutos a un buen velocidad.

La piscina es una piscina olímpica. Es una piscina de 50 metros de largo. Tiene un gran trampolín, pero hay casi 5 trampolínes que son de tamaños variables. Yo solo puedo ir en lo más bajo, porque no puede ir en lo más altos. Nadie puede ir, está cerrado. El jacuzzi no es muy caliente, pero a veces es un poquito caliente.

Cajas National Park

We’ve been to Cajas National Park twice. Well at least my mom and I have. The first time that we were going to go my sister was a little bit sick, so she and my dad could not come. The second time that we went she could go, because she was not sick, nobody was sick.

The first time that we went was with a lovely gentleman named Don. My mom found out about him through a Facebook group. He came with a guy/friend named Steve. I was surprised when I saw the age of him, he was around 61 years old. That’s just a guess by the way but I’m pretty sure he was older than fifty years old. It was about a 45-minute bus ride. It was pretty windy at the end so I got a little bit carsick.

When we got to the top there was a little area where you had to sign in. I have zero clue why they wanted you to sign in. Maybe because they wanted to get an approximation of how many people came each day.

We took the hike that was all mainly downhill. It was sort of hard on one part of the body, the quadriceps muscles.

At some points it was a little bit hilly. I think that it was called the red loop. I totally just guessed there. My mom just said that it was called the route number one. It took us a little bit longer than usual because we were going with Steve. There were a lot of parts where you had to scramble downhill, so it was a bit more difficult for Steve.

It was a pretty fun time. I hope that if you go that you have a great time like we did.


It was pretty nerve-racking when my dad said that we were going to get a haircut in Ecuador. We were going to get the haircut at a barber across the street from our house. We had looked in there a couple of times and told them that we were going to get a haircut.

The first time that we went, my dad and I got a haircut. My dad also got a shave done. The second time that we went my grandpa Lyall had a haircut and a shave, my dad had a shave, and I got the design in my hair that I have now.

When they finished my haircut I really liked it. It was better than the super fancy place in Calgary that I go to, even though it was a hole in the wall place. I wish that we could just fly there every 2 months to get my haircut instead of going to my regular place.

The people that work there are really nice. The main guy Diego (the most experienced barber) speaks a little bit of English, which was helpful for my grandpa. Diego also has seven kids and he’s only 27 years old. Crazy! That’s just the culture here though.

Drive to Guayaquil

The drive to Guayaquil from Cuenca was gross and beautiful at the same time. The first part of the drive was really winding road and through the mountains. If you know me than you know that I get carsick pretty easily.

So when we started the drive I was feeling fine, but then when we started to go into the mountains the road started to curve a lot and I became really carsick. Normally when I get carsick I try to go to sleep. I actually had a rest, but when I got out for the first time it was freezing.

We got out at the Tres Cruces viewpoint. It was very cold, at least for the Ecuadorians. It was very windy and you’re at the top of a mountain. You had a pretty great view of the Cajas National Park valley.

The second time that we got out it was humid because we were at sea level but still very far away from our destination. Our destination was Guayaquil; after we went to Guayaquil we would go on a plane to Lima.

So when we got out to go to the bathroom, I felt drowsy and then bam! I barfed and it splattered all over the cement floor. It was disgusting. That’s only the second time in my life that I have barfed. After that commotion I felt sooooooo much better for the drive.

Cuenca has been good to us and always will be. I personally will remember it for the rest of my life. I will miss things and be happy that we are leaving. Sadness is not going to ruin the whole South American trip though.

Hasta la vista, Jasper.

Cuenca - Macy

Bye Bye Cuenca

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*****By the way this was supposed to be posted over a week ago

Oh my gosh………   Cuenca is coming to an end. That also means that we are getting closer to the Galapagos. Our first set of grandparents are gone, but our next set of grandparents are coming tomorrow. I bet they are really tired.😴😴

Jasper and I have not been doing lots of schoolwork because the grandparents have been here. Buttttt I am okay with that because I despise homework.

My mom, my brother and I recently had our last lesson with Luis. He is our Spanish teacher. At the last lesson Luis had prepared lots of games. My daddy could not join because he had to go pick up our abuelos. Buttttt he was able to join half way into the lesson. We gave Luis wine and some new whiteboard markers as a thank you gift.

I will not miss hearing the  sounds of the noisy streets, the smell of the gas from city buses and cigarettes, and last but not least, I will not miss the dog poop in front of our house.  I will miss Cuenca, Hacienda Chan Chan, and most of all I will miss my friends in the daycare that I volunteered at. I will also not miss the “cook- a- doodle- dooing” and the weird dog barking in the middle of the night!!!!!


Here are the differences between Cuenca and Calgary. The first difference is that in Cuenca when there is a festival, they put a time to show you when it will be “starting”. However, when you arrive at that time the people that are performing are still just practicing. It is pretty annoying, but we are really lucky to be in America del sur. Locals have activities like we Calgarians have too, but when locals don’t want to go to their activities they will skip it. I think that is pretty mean to the teammates and the coach because A) you have committed to a team, and B) what if your team has started a fun game and made teams and you show  up the first day but not the next day, then your coach has to make a whole new team? Anyway back to differences…, Cuenca says “Markosoft” instead of “Microsoft”, which is pretty weird.  South America also puts Guacamole on their burgers. Cuenca also puts 60 seconds on the signal for crossing the road, whereas in Canada there is only 20 seconds. I find that so far South America and Cuenca are night people, meaning they tend to do more activities at night than in the morning like exercising and festivals. Ecuador also has cobblestone roads because some towns like Cuenca are really old; whereas in Calgary we have all paved roads because we are a younger city.

Andean monkeys are little stinkers because they sneakily steal your food. The Andean monkey is at the Amaru zoo. They are yellow, fuzzy and really cute, but when they want to steal your food they are not cute.  When you’re trying to shoo them away they grrrrr at you. I got really scared because this one boy was poking at a monkey and then the monkey got mad and jumped on him like it was a rope or something. Also because my mom was shooing the Andean monkeys away but they were not scared surprisingly. When they people who worked at the zoo came and shooed them away I was not as scared. One of the Andean monkeys stole someone’s jello and took it to a tree.

Cuando estuvimos caminando para ver a los muy grande monos, mi papa vio algunas personas alimentándose los monos unas botellas plásticos. Y las mismas personas trataron de dar otra botella plástica a los monos. Y mi papa dijo, “la botella no es para los monos”. ¡Me sentí muy enojado porque cuando mi papa agarró el plástico las mujeres no dijeron “gracias” y plástico no es para todos los animales!!!!


Oh boy…. that drive was a mess and I will tell you the reasons why. First of all we were in a car for four hours and Jasper, we all know, gets carsick and sometimes so do I. Jasper and I kept asking what is the road going to be like but my parents didn’t know because they had never driven to Guayaquil, that was also a reason why.  When we started getting  on the main road it started getting really windy…..I mean really windy! I hated it. When we stopped for a snack after the windy-ness it was really humid.

Mom got out of the car first, then me, then Jasper and then Jasper’s food came out of his mouth next. It was really gross!It splattered all over the ground and grass, but luckily there was a really kind cleaning lady that cleaned it up and gave Jasper 3 limes and some salt to suck on.

After Jasper vomiting, it was time to get back in the car.

The rest of the road was flat.  👌

I am looking forward to lots more adventures in the future!!!!!!!!!

Much thanks to Cuenca for being good to me!!!!!!!!!!!


Cuenca - Macy

Fun times at Hacienda Chan Chan

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Hacienda Chan Chan is a dairy and working farm near Chiquintad, a small town kind of close to Cuenca. They named it Hacienda Chan Chan because Chan Chan is a river right next to the farm.

Milking Cows
When our family was at the farm Jasper and I got to milk some cows bare hand. It was really fun, I had never had a chance to milk cows in my life. The family that owned the farm had about 30 milking cows. A lot of the cows were embarazada (which means pregnant in Spanish). A machine milked the cows, but the workers let me milk them just to try it. The cows are milked at 5:30 am and 3:00pm, 2 times a day. Wow that’s a lot!!!!!

Patsy is a donkey and Fiona is a caballo. They are really nice. Patsy was a snuggle bunny so she really likes kids and snuggles. Fiona the horse was not trained yet, because she was only two.

There was a girl named Gwen (one of the kids who lived on the farm) and she said that Fiona was going to be her horse when Fiona was trained. I was able to go horseback riding on a horse named Ben. Ben was a bit stubborn but I am still grateful that I even got to hop on a horse at a working dairy farm. When we were done riding Ben we were told just to take off the saddle tie him up to the post again. So we did, but Ben kept neighing and neighing because he wanted his friends. Of course my mom wanted Jasper and I to go tell Julie (she owns the farm with her husband Luke) what we should do with Ben. Julie said just leave him there, and…that’s what we did. But about half an hour later I saw Ben trotting to a field of barley. I told my mom, Ben is running to a field of barley. Mom said it is okay.

The next day my dad and I went to see if Ben was okay. So I went first, and saw that Ben was still in the spot eating away. I noticed that the rope was on him from the day before. I grabbed the rope and got Ben to walk with me. He was kind of trotting so I got a little scared and let go of the rope. Ben stopped so I tried to get a hold of it again. I could not because he almost bucked me right in the head. Luckily he didn’t.

After a little while my dad finally came, and we helped Ben into the other field but we just couldn’t quite figure out how to get him past the fence.

On the last day when we had to say goodbye to Patsy and Fiona I cried because I did not want to leave them. When everyone else left I was still there with Patsy and Fiona, but when my dad was walking towards me I walked closer to Patsy and Fiona.

My dad called out “you will want to hear this”. He told me that Julie comes into town every Friday and maybe one of those Fridays we can have a sleep over at the farm. Now I am happy about that because we will get to have a sleepover in 2 weeks and stay at the farm again with Lyall Nash and Sheryl Nash (my grandparents).

Adios hacienda Chan Chan