Museum Monday

26 May

Since I’m only teaching a night class at 7 o’clock this week and I had friends in town, I decided to finally visit some museums in the city. It’s odd, but I’ve never actually been to any in Cuenca, and when asked for advice on the matter, I really have nothing to offer. In the morning I went with Amelia, Brittney, and Ryan, another volunteer from Quito, to the Museum of Modern Art.

The museum was small, but free, which made it all the more alluring. We walked around the grounds and saw the exhibits for maybe 45 minutes before finishing up. We agreed that it was alright, but nothing special. I then led the rest of the group in the direction of La Casa de la Mujer, a market that is run by women with all of the proceeds going to women. I walked through it when I first got to Cuenca but never went back until this weekend. Again, there are things there that are nice, but nothing special, in my opinion. You can find the same things in many other markets.

I left the group to go home for lunch, and as it turns out we had cuy. It was only my second time having cuy, but it confirmed to me that it’s not my favorite dish. It’s gamy and takes a lot of work for not a lot of meat. I wound up burping it up for most of the afternoon and decided that I really didn’t need to be eating this delicacy again. After lunch and doing a minimal amount of work, I met up with my friends again, this time a little outside the center at Banco Central. Here we find the Museo Pumapungo, which houses artifacts and various other artwork from around Ecuador.

To get in we paid $3, and we quickly made it through the two floors. The admission ticket also gave us access to some Inca ruins in the backyard, which were nothing compared to Ingapirca, which were nothing compared to Machu Picchu. But it was still interesting to finally see it from inside the gate, rather than outside. Walking around to the perimeter we also noticed that the grounds included a garden with a pond and a bird sanctuary with parrots and parakeets. We walked down and looked at the birds for a few minutes, but it was getting later and colder. I had to be back at home for dinner by 5:30 and we really wanted to get some chocolate cake, so we high tailed it to Cacao y Canela, a restaurant back in the center.

Cacao y Canela has, in my opinion and many others, the best chocolate cake around. It’s rich and soft with thick and delicious chocolate syrup, and at a buck fifty, it’s well worth the splurge. I’ve only been there a few times, saving it for special occasions. To add to the delight, I also got a glass of milk, which I’ve been craving lately. I realized that in addition to yesterdays milk, it’s only the second glass of milk I’ve had in 9 months. The first glass was last month in Zaruma. I don’t know how I’ve gone this long, but I never get milk at home here.

The cake and milk went together hand in hand, but soon we had to rush out as I got ready for dinner and class and Brittney and Ryan headed off for Guayaquil, as they were still on vacation. As it turns out, only 2 students showed up to my class, so it was more like a personal tutor session, just clearing up confusion from the previous units. After the class I met up with a few other friends at a bar to watch “Amelie” with Spanish subtitles. Walking in late and having subtitles in a foreign language made it so that I couldn’t understand everything, but it still seemed like an interesting movie.

Once back home I watched another movie with Amelia, who left early this morning for Quito. So now that the busy weekend is over, I need to find ways to keep busy this week. So far it’s going along smoothly. It’s always good to be a tourist in your own city once in a while, even if only for a day or two. Hopefully it can keep going well.

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