This week Andrew and I were lucky enough to tag along for another school field trip (this also meant we didn’t have to teach Thursday and Friday, woohoo)! We packed up our bags and headed to catch the bus nice and early – 4am to be exact- so we could start our 5 hour bus ride to Cuenca, a beautiful, ancient city in Ecuador. Our first stop once we arrived, was the Amaru Zoo, which was unlike any zoo we had ever visited. The set-up of the zoo was very unique, being in the middle of the forest. We talked along winding, dirt trails, seeing over 40 different exhibits from monkeys to condors, the national bird of Ecuador. Unlike the Minnesota or the Como zoo that we are accustomed to, being at Amaru Zoo felt like a safari. We got a glimpse at the world these animals live in, rather than seeing animals implanted into our world in glass cages (luckily the venomous snakes and vipers were in glass cages) with cotton candy stands and hot dog carts along paved paths. It was definitely an indescribably experience, that took about 2.5 hours to complete. One of my favorite parts of the zoo was the monkeys! They were allowed to roam pretty freely, as they weren’t fenced in, in most areas. You could get extremely close, and throughout our journey, the monkeys were able to walk above us in a wire “skyway” that travelled most of the length of the dirt path.
During our time in Cuenca we also took a walking tour of the city and visited the pool for a little swim! It was a great trip, and we have learned so much about Ecuador’s history and culture during out time here! In all honesty though, being with the students on these trips is easily the best part. We get to know them SO much better when we are out, rather than in the classroom – and they always impress us when they ask us questions in English! I definitely think the pictures are way better than any blurb I could ever write, so here are a few glimpses of our trip.