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 - Jasper

Festival Time

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September 29 to November 5

It is getting nearer to the Independence Day weekend and I’m getting really nervous. The actual Independence Day is November 3, but it’s pretty much just a weekend of fun and buying things. One thing that I’m nervous about is there are workers that are setting up these enormous stages outside. Two, people are staying up later and partying way more than they usually would, on a normal day.

I think that everybody is getting nervous/anxious. Even though is not even starting yet. Bam! It just hit me, it was the start of the Independence Day weekend

There are food tents on one side of the river and artisan’s tents on the other side of the river. Luckily there was going to be no school even though it was a weekday, and we normally did school. That was a relief, and a surprise. That day we saw a school parade and then at night we saw some traditional music. While we were walking to the music we went to the travel agency and got a timetable that showed us what was happening and when.

We could see that this was going to be a lot of different music concerts. I couldn’t really understand it because the singer was singing really fast and it was in Spanish. At least we got to see it. My mom and I stayed longer because my sister was really tired, so she went home with my dad. During the time that my mom and I were there we were able to get some enormous lollipops, from a vender with lots of other things. We didn’t leave until around 9:45pm. It was still going when we left. Man these people stay up really late. I guess that is just normal for them.

I had a REALLY good sleep that night. I got to sleep with my mom, I felt more safe with her. The next day it was more festivities. We got up a little bit earlier, I didn’t like that. We did this because we wanted to see the military parade. Man! “It’s hot out” I said, as we walked out of front door. It was actually pretty hot though, around 27’C. Even my mom thought that it was hot, and she normally thinks everything is cold.

The road that the parade was on was near the Italian restaurant that we went to previously. Come on. There were already about a billion people waiting for the parade to start. Almost all of the people had those dang umbrellas. It’s like there is a giant wall in your face so you can’t see. It seemed like they were putting their umbrellas even higher so even my dad couldn’t see. People are just weird these days.

The concert started and it was upbeat and fun. During the end it got pretty boring because firefighters just kept coming not really MILITARY people. So it was a so-so parade.

I actually sort of forget what we did or went to after that, so I’m going to tell you what we did that night. Well truthfully we didn’t do much. My sister, my dad and I stayed home and watched a movie, and my mom went out to see a different concert. It was another late night.

The next morning we set off at around 10:30am to go for some more festivities. Yes more festivities. It was called battle of the bands. The bands were really bad, it sounded like they didn’t even practice one day. My mom was really disappointed because it was her idea to go and see it. She thought that it was going to be good, but it turned out pretty much the opposite of what she expected. I’m pretty sure that that was all that there was to the Independence festival/weekend. So I guess that I will see you next time. Which will be about Hacienda Chan Chan. A farm.

Bye (American way to say Adios)

Jasper(Jásper in Spanish)

Cuenca - Jasper

The hike of amazingness.

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Saturday October 28

The time in Cuenca has passed by sort of fast and sort of slow. It has passed by fast because I’m having a really fun time exploring places and just being out of the house. It has passed by slowly because most of the days we’ve just been walking around and I sort of want to do other things. I just don’t know what I want to do.

Overall it has been a pretty fun time more than it has been not fun though. The other day I went on a hike with a guy named Donald who my mom connected with through Facebook. I finally realized that he didn’t want to get paid or need to get paid. Wow! He’s a really nice guy I kept thinking to myself before we even left for the hike. Sadly my sister couldn’t come because she had a very big belly ache. I was sad that she couldn’t come because then it would have been way more fun with her.

On the day that we went on the hike I was really nervous because I was going on a hike with somebody that I didn’t know. I had to get up at 7:30am. I was super tired during the time that I had to get changed and stuff like that. It seemed like I got shocked the second that I stepped into the bus terminal. I was shocked because it was actually going to happen. I was going on a hike in South America.

Mi mama y yo necesitaban caminar y ver por Donald. El dice que iba estar cerca la fuentes de agua. El razón que no le vimos, es porque el taxista nos dejó en la parte de atrás de la terminal de autobuses, no en la parte en frente. Estuve enojado con el taxista por hacer eso. Finalmente encontramos a Donald y dijimos nuestros holas. El estaba con otra persona que se llama Steve. Las dos personas estaban muy amable.

OMG! We almost missed the bus, because it was supposed to leave at 8:30am but the driver was ready so he left at 8:10am. That never happens in Calgary I thought. We were able to get some snacks at the little visitor centre. They were very good. I hoped that the hike was long and not very short. Donald said that we had the option to go the extra hour and a half. I wanted to do that.

The actual hike was really fun. There were quite a bit of differences about the actual hike. Number one there was no real pathway/trail. You basically just walked on this big brown dirt road. A long time ago the road was used for donkeys to haul things along. Well that’s what Donald told us at least. For snack break we stopped at a little meadow near a lake that we were going to be going around. I tried to make a statue of rocks but sadly it failed. I ate too much I thought after we started to go again. Wow! That went quick. Please don’t end I thought, but it had to. It was the most fun hiking experience in South America ever.

Bus come right now or else I will kill you. I was saying that because we had been waiting one hour to flag down a bus. Finally it came and I napped all of the way home.

See ya J-man

Cuenca - Jasper · Cuenca - Macy

Nuestra experiencia con los niños.

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Mí Experiencia – Jasper

I have never volunteered in my life. So it was kind of a surprise when my mom and dad said that we were going to volunteer at a daycare. I was nervous because they only spoke Spanish and I was still learning the language. About an hour before we left for the daycare, I got “nervous poo” and/or butterflies in my stomach. I thought that all of the kids were going to be sucking their thumbs. Gross! Either that, or just sitting on their bums doing nothing. Boring! The daycare was located in a plaza, I forget the name of the plaza. I still know that it was in a plaza. When we got to the plaza there were two Caucasian, American ladies that were going to be helping us out. One was from Minneapolis, and I think the other was from Oregon; which meant that they spoke English. Phew! Sadly one of them was a little bit deaf.

The daycare was in a school, and the school was huge! I think that it was junior high and high school. Wow, two big sections of grades in one school! That never happens in Calgary. When I saw the kids at the daycare, some of them looked very tired and a bit ragged, and their mom’s were really young. I would never want to be in that situation, but I still feel badly for them. Also, I felt badly for them because they were going to get picked up at around 10:00 o’clock pm after their moms were finished their schooling. Wow that’s late! It turned out that they were some of the nicest, funniest and loving kids in the world that I have ever met. They varied in all ages: there were some that were two, and others who only came on Thursdays that were eight and nine years old. The younger kids were a little more fun, I have to admit.

There was this one two year old, I’m pretty sure his name was Coli. He was the most fun toddler that I have ever met. He turned out to be my best friend. He was a very, very squirmy kid! At one point I was piggybacking him and he had no hands on me. I got really scared that he was going to fall off, so I told my mom and she took him for the time that he was going to be on my back. It seemed like all of the little kids wanted to grab on to you and just hold you until you really had to do something, like go to the bathroom.

Luckily the kids got to have dinner at the daycare because the two ladies that we met at the start brought dinner. The dinner was a sausage casserole; they only gave the kids a little bit because there were a lot of them. They could have seconds though. There was enough that Macy and I got to try some. It was just ok…. well…actually I didn’t like it very much! All of the kids really liked it though, and that’s what’s most important.

After dinner we went outside because the teacher didn’t bring the keys for the classroom. I felt really badly for her. Still it was really fun outside. We played a lot of different games. The first one that we played was almost like a hide and seek game. It was really fun. At one point during the game, Coli just wandered off and people went to search for him. I found him first so I asked him if he wanted to try to find people with me. Of course, I asked in Spanish because that’s the only language that he knows of. It was soooooooooo funny watching the little kids run. It was like my walk, but they were still trying their hardest.

The second game that we played was pretty fun too. I don’t know what it was called, so I will try to explain it the best that I can. There were two or three people in the middle, depending on the age of the people. All of the other people that weren’t in the circle were holding hands and singing a song. After we were done singing, the people in the middle, who were the wolves, would say if they wanted to eat us or if they were just doing something completely random. If they said they wanted to eat you, you would have to scram immediately or else they would “eat” you. It was not very hard because the kids were pretty slow.

By 8:30pm, it was getting pretty late, so we had to go. It was the first and the most fun experience of volunteering de mi vida. Luckily we get to go every Tuesday and Thursday until we leave for our next place. I hope that next time we go we get to see inside the classroom.

Adios Jasper Me gusta los niños y niñas mucho.


Mí Experiencia – Macy

Omg…. I had the time of my life four days ago. I volunteered at a daycare for young mamas that did not complete their school and they are advancing their education now.

The way it works is the kids would go to school for the day in their hometown, then the mamas would do a one hour drive to drop them off at 5:00 at the Cuenca daycare, then the mamas would go to their classes for 4 hours. After their classes the moms would come and pick up the kids.

The kids would probably be really tired because they are really young kids. It would then be a one hour bus ride home and the kids would not be in bed until about 11:00 pm. They would have to wake up at about 6:30am the next day.

I have never volunteered in my life, it was a pretty good experience volunteering. We did not once touch a toy, and the kids still had a blast. We had a sausage casserole for dinner. There was enough dinner for me and my brother to have some, it was really yummy.

All I had to do to help was just basically play with the kids. I made a friend, she was nine years old. I taught her how to do cartwheels. There was this one girl that was just starting grade one, she became my dad’s best friend.

The kids were awesome to play with. I felt like the kids liked having another kid to play with, it looked they had a great time. I think my brother, my dad, my mom and me had a great time.

Adios amigos Macy

Cuenca - Jasper

I did it.

Before we even left for the trip, I had some expectations, some worries and some hopes. A lot of those feelings changed drastically. My expectations for the house were that it was going to be a very tiny house that is really dirty and super old. No, no and no it is a giant house that has two ginormous floors, three bathrooms, and 5 beds. It is still really old but it seems like it was built a day ago. I already knew that there was going to be no clean water. So when I got here it wasn’t much of a surprise.

The most recent interaction with somebody that I didn’t know was with my Spanish teacher, his name is Luis. He is a really good, fun, nice guy. The very first lesson that he did with me he didn’t know how good I was at Spanish so he just tested me.

I was almost crying because I was soooooo nervous about going to soccer. I had to wear a orange jersey because it was Wednesday. When I got there there were some kids playing a soccer game. It looked like they were having lots of fun. When the coordinators came I had to go on the dust field. I was so nervous because he introduced me to the whole group. I almost cried. During the first drill I sort of made a friend. His name was Miguel, he was a pretty nice guy. He was the friendliest at least.

My first Academy in Cuenca

They talked at about 999 999 999 kilometres an hour. Well the point is that they talked really fast. It was sort of hard to understand because they mumbled a lot. They also wanted me to talk in English, so I said hummingbird. Then they asked me to say a sentence, so I said I like to play soccer. They asked me what it meant so I said it in Spanish. Almost like this A mi me gusta jugar fútbol. It was really funny knowing a language that they don’t.

It lasted 1 hour and a quarter, of very exciting and nerve wracking minutes. After it finished I was relieved, I was also very happy. I got to have very yummy peanuts and raisins after. It was a twenty minute walk back to our house. It was very fun because I got to talk in English.

That night I got to pick the movie because I went to the soccer academy. I picked a very funny movie called Change Up. It was to0 inappropriate so I picked a movie called Anchorman. It was a movie with Will Ferrel. He is a comedian so it was really funny. It had a lot of humour to it. We didn’t get to watch the whole movie because it was too long. I still got to read Harry Potter though, it is very romantic right now.

Chau Jasper

Cuenca - Jasper

It’s happening.

“No, I don’t want to watch Men in Black because it looks too scary!” I kept saying to my parents and my sister. Never mind that I didn’t even have a say. “No fair, no fair,”, I thought in my head. It ended up to be a very good, funny movie. It was really late so I had to go to bed. I felt safer when I got to sleep with my sister. I kept thinking that the big, gross, disgusting bug was going to come out and bite me! I was scared the whole night, but I still got a good sleep. My sister and I drew on each other’s backs. It always feels nice when anybody does that to me. We did that for around half an hour. Eventually we stopped to go to sleep.

It was finally morning. I got corn flakes for breakfast. I used the all-fat milk and the others used the semi-fat milk. I don’t get why they need to use that milk? It just tastes the same. That’s weird, I thought.

Yay! We get to go to the swimming pool. I have a bad feeling that it will not be open. At least my dad, my sister and I got to take a cab there. Phew! It was open. The place was very quiet because there was only one guy in the men’s change room and a shower that didn’t turn off. The hot tub was cold compared to the other hot tubs that I have been to.
I don’t want to jump off the 3 metre springboard. Ow! When I jumped in my feet felt like they landed on cement. I did it twice before my sister did it. It was perfectly fine for her. After swimming we went to McDonald’s to get fries because we were really hungry. I almost faded away before we got to McDonald’s.

Me in my Cuenca Escuela del Fútbol jersey

After McDonald’s, we walked to the office where we signed me up for a soccer academy. I can’t believe that I just got signed up for soccer. I’m excited and also nervous. Today was awesome and also very nerve wracking.

Hasta Luego.


Cuenca - Jasper

Should I go?

I’m watching Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix. It’s pretty scary, but I already read the book so I know what’s going to happen. It was pretty late so when I finished watching the movie I went straight to bed. When I got up around 8:50a.m., I was so tired I could have stayed in bed for another hour. When I finally got out of bed I wasn’t hungry at all, but I still had a piece of toast.

After we ate breakfast we FaceTimed my grandparents. I was sooooo tired during the FaceTime that I went back to bed. I sort of slept, but it was still very good for me. I only was in bed for about 1 hour. After I got out of bed again we did a 40 minute walk to a mall. We went to the wrong mall so we took a taxi to the right one. I got to sit in the front of the car to the right mall. It was pretty cool sitting in the front, even at home I don’t get to. At the end of the cab ride I also got to give the money to the cab driver.

At the mall we looked around for a long time just in case there was something that me or Macy liked because we had 20 dollars to spend on whatever we wanted. There was nothing that we wanted so we didn’t spend the money. After the mall we had to walk to Supermaxi. Supermaxi is a shopping store almost like Superstore in Calgary. It was pouring rain outside so we had to put our rain coats on. After that we went back home and now I’m doing my blog. It hasn’t been the best of the best days but it is still time in Cuenca.

Me and my dad are thinking about going to a soccer academy. It is called La Escuela de Fútbol Club Deportivo Cuenca. In English it is the Soccer School of the Deportivo Cuenca Football Club. I’m really nervous about going to it. I’m going to be the only Canadian kid.

Jasper soccer

Also I’m not going to have any friends. I can still make friends though. I’m going to be with the older kids, well the kids that are my age. My group is the oldest.

There are 9 year olds, and 8 year olds. The kids out there playing are pretty good. They really go after the ball. The field that they are playing on sucks. It is basically just dirt, but they still do very well on it.

IMG_6715 (1)

Me and my dad went to watch it once. That’s how I know all of this. We wanted to know the place to sign up so we went there, and asked a bunch of questions about the soccer. The lady that we were talking to didn’t speak any English so we had to use our Spanish speaking skills. It is 28 dollars a month, but you have a uniform to go with it. I’m still thinking about going.

I haven’t made my final decision yet. I feel if I say yes my parents will be really happy and then if I say no they will be really sad.