I am in Cuenca! I was really nervous to meet my host family but they are all so nice. The mom, Yanina, is especially amazing. I love spending time talking to her in the kitchen. She makes the most delicious food. I took a Spanish placement exam today at the international school I will be studying at. When we were in Quito the other day we went to the Chapel of Man, a museum dedicated to the work of Guaya Samin, a really amazing Ecuadorian sculptor and painter. I really loved his art. He focused a lot on depicting the history, suffering, oppression, and survival of Latin American people. In a lot of his paintings he celebrates the woman and the mother. The mother is always depicted holding a child at the center of his paintings. He also used different colors to represent different ethnicities and emotions. In one painting of a woman, half her face was blue and the other yellow. Our tour guide told us that the blue represented the Spanish, who came by sea, while the yellow represented the indigenous, who were close to the land. I am excited to explore Cuenca this weekend – Sophie and I want to go to a fruit market and find some nice parks. I am really excited to learn to salsa dance too. Our school is in an old colonial house – probably the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. It’s so open and full of natural light.
So far we have visited a lot of places – the equator, a crater, a lot of museums, and a lot of amazing churches.