“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”I read it as, "Take the world in your hands: TEACH English"
We teach for a non-profit language academy called CEDEI. The acronym stands for a nobel mission: a Center for Interamerican Studies. I like that term “Interamerican.” As you travelers may have noticed, the term “American” takes on an interesting and sometimes controversial connotation in South America. Though I wasn't aware that there was another way to describe myself, a person from the United States, other than as an “Americano,” I recently discovered from my Spanish teacher that I had two alternate ways of describing my origin: either as a “Norte Americano” or as an “Estado Unidensìa.” And I like these, the specificity of the titles, as alternatives to generally claiming two continents as my homeland. However, with “Norte Americano” I could still be confused as either Mexican or Canadian…ok fine, only Canadian, and I guess that wouldn't be so bad either (if know Canadians, then you know what I'm talking about…good folks).
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
Another adventure in El Cajas! After our first "crooked and winding" trek in the park, we opted this time to join a mountaineering group (called Club Sangay) and their sturdy guides to bring us into the less-explored southern region of the park. Join us for a visual journey through the national park in Cuenca's backyard - happy trails!
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside."Your standard seco de pollo
For the tourist, eating is something to absolutely look forward to when arriving in a new country. Locals preparing local food for great prices - sign me up! For us, though, settling into Cuenca has meant, unless we break our modest bank as regulars at restaurants, finding our way around the markets, grocery stores, and the kitchen. It's been a process, but, most importantly, we are making progress and have a few things we can share with you about culinary Cuenca.
I won't say we never eat in restaurants, but we've found that lunch is the best time to eat out. Why lunch? I guess it's partly the fact that we're generally out and about on foot around lunch time combined with the economy of local lunches here. Called “almuerzos,” the typical lunch can be found in little “hole in the wall” restaurants all over. Generally, an almuerzo will include a fresh-made “jugo” (juice) of local variety, a big “sopa” (soup), and then a main dish of “seco” (…stewish meat dish) served with a gargantuan portion of rice and a small salad on the side. The most typical secos are beef and chicken, but we did accidentally eat cow's intestine the other day (I thought it was seafood...whoops...). Lynsey can get through about 50-70% of a meal, and even I have a hard time finishing one. Ok, ready for the best part that I'm certain you've been wondering about (…$$…)? The whole deal costs $1.25! Even adjusted for inflation this is a great price. I should say that $1.25 has been our personal best find - we paid as much as $2.50+ in the early hungry gringo days. If we're not careful the almuerzo can put us into a coma, but for steady walkers it's the fuel that keeps us scurrying around the city on foot and generally not in any hunger-rush to get back to our apartment for dinner.
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