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 - Macy

Pools and palabras.

October 18 2017
Yesterday late morning a teacher came over named Luis. It was my first time having him over. He was a great teacher, he taught me about different objects in the house. I already have homework. The homework is pretty easy. Luis was a different teacher in a way that I have not seen. We talked in Spanish the whole time……… he said that if I do not understand a word in Spanish he will tell me. He taught me Spanish for 45 minutes. He also taught my brother for 45 minutes, then my mom for one hour.

After he taught me and Jasper, we decided to go to a swimming pool. It was a thirty minute walk from our house. The swimming pool was huge, the lanes were 50 meters!!!!! I did 2 laps, which was 100 meters; my brother did 3 laps, which was 150 meters; and my dad did 8 laps, which was 400 meters. In the swimming pool there was also a gigantic hot tub. The pool was an a Olympic pool. There were 7 diving boards including a flipped up spring board. I went off of a 1 metre and a 3 metre diving board. The three metre board was pretty scary because the ladder to get up to it was straight up, but when you got to the top it was still a tiny bit scary.  After you jumped off you would want to do it A MILLION more times because it was really fun. There was this one spot in the hot tub that was cold. I really liked that spot because when I felt sick, but still wanted to stay in the tub, I could go to that spot. After we got dressed we were pretty hungry so we got to go to a McDonald’s and share 2 medium Cokes and 3 medium fries 🍟. That helped a lot!!!!!!!!

 Ayer yo voy a una piscina con mi hermano y mi papa. La piscina es una olímpico piscina. La piscina tiene 6 trampolínes.  !Me gusta la piscina mucho!!!
This was supposed to be posted but I forgot to edit it with my mom!!!
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.



Day 15ish – Pep rally?

Monday October 16th, 2017

Election Day back home!!!!!  Yikes!  I can’t say we will be glued to our screens waiting to see, but it will be exciting to hear the outcome 🙂

Speaking of politics….we ran into an interesting event Saturday.  We were on our way to explore some more of the city on foot, as we do, and at the park very close to our place there was an obvious pep rally of sorts.  There was a stage and some gentle, live music and speeches, food, signs, people wearing white t-shirts with undetermined messages on them…and families abound.  It all felt very lovely and was making me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Then, we started to look more closely at the signs on the shirts and Myles investigated some of the translations.  We slowly put together the pieces that in all likelihood, it was a very conservative, religious gathering intended to protect and preserve the Catholic definition of marriage, gender and birth, and included some form of a message to the educational system to step back and “Don’t teach our kids about the definition of gender,”.  Now, in fairness, we cannot be exactly sure of the subtleties and subtexts, nor of the mission statements of the possible organizations there; but we are no dummies.  The purpose of this gathering was largely solidified upon exiting the celebration when we passed a very small, peripheral protest group on the fringes.  They were loud, cheering, and quite obviously defending LGBTQ rights.

The thing I appreciated about this whole experience, was the complete lack of any form of aggression I observed or felt.  Sure, I may have been missing some things, but not at any point in time did my spidey- senses flare up.  At the same time, I also must acknowledge that I don’t get it.  I just don’t.  I felt especially confounded when walking past the younger generation of supporters, wearing the t-shirts and waving the small flags…it just does not compute in my head.  I simply cannot imagine the painful and laborious uphill battle for anyone that does not fit into the predominating mold of the country.

I think you can tell which picture is which below.

Rally 1Rally 2

Myles and I did our best to explain things to the kids, and to some degree I think they got a sense of what was happening.  It didn’t take long, however, for the proverbial, “Can we go now?”  I don’t think the experience made it into their journals.




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.

Cuenca - Macy

A day in the life in Cuenca.

Sunday the 15 2017
Omg…….. I am so excited to go to  a dairy farm. An American family owns it, we are going to stay there for three nights.  I am also excited to go back to Calgary and maybe get a hamster 🐹. I really want one because my cousins just got one yesterday, and because they are cute.  I also  think I have enough money because the hamster itself is only about twelve dollars and the cage is about $100,  but my brother and I are going to combine our money for the clear ball, the toys and the bedding. My brother wants to get a hamster too, but he has $300 so we would probably be able to get a hamster.

Anyway, today was a long day because we walked to a mall to spend $25 from my dad’s friend Ryan Cowie and his wife Jenn.  We got it to spend in South America and get a little something along the way, it was really nice of them to do that. The walk to the mall was about forty minutes, but that mall did not have anything we wanted to buy.  So my dad looked at other malls near by and there was one that was a seven minute drive so we took a cab there.  Jasper even sat in the front and told the taxi driver in Spanish where we wanted to go next. That mall was much bigger and had way more floors. It also had a bigger food court and even bungee jumping for little kids, which I thought was pretty cute.

We decided to look at some stores. After looking in a few stores we all noticed that we were pretty hungry, so of course we went to the food court and ate some food 🥘. There was an arcade in the food court, so my dad said to go look and see how much it was. He gave us enough money to play a few games each.  One of the arcade games caught on fire and they had to use a fire extinguisher on it!

Next we decided to walk home.  Mother Nature cried so hard, which means it poured rain on us. After that exhausting walk, I came running to our house and had something to eat and wrote my blog.

A few days ago I had the biggest calzone I have ever seen in my life!  Here is a picture of it.
I just cannot stop 🛑  thinking 🤔 about going to the dairy 🥛 farm!!  I am just so excited 😆
Here is a link to the farm we will hopefully be going to:
See you next time when once again I am in the dairy farm or before.