Every week day since we have arrived, we have been having spanish language classes at a local spanish language school called 'Vida Verde.' These ran from 8.30am until 12.30pm eachday with a break at 11am during which we would usuallly just talk and have a coffee. After classes finish we all head to our host homes for lunch and make use of the Wi-fi to make any plans for the afterrnoon or just chill and do our homework.
Monday afternoon we had nothing planned so a group of us decided to head to a cute little cafe known as Cafe 'Jervis' which looks like something you might find in Wellington and has very yummy cake, biscuits and apple scrolls. Although it is slightly on the pricier side for Quito, it is still definitely cheaper than back home and we spent about 2 hours there just chatting.
14-02-17 Tuesday ♡ VALENTINE'S DAY ♡
This morning our break time at Vida Verde was a little different. They made us hot chocolate on the stove and we each got a small scone/roll to go with it as well as a piece of chocolate and an adorable little message on a heart or mickey-mouse shaped piece of paper attached to a popsicel stick. We definitely felt the love! The hot chocolate was also very warming as it was a rather cold day here in Quito (approx. 10-13 degrees celsius)
We were also lucky enough to receive our host mum's delicious homemade hot chocolate after dinner as well! (proof that it was just too cold). Except this time she served it with a plate of cheese... which Ruby and I were confused about until she explained that you put it in the hot chocolate - google 'Colombian Hot Chocolate' its a thing! Definitely different but worth a try and doesn't taste too bad if I do say so myself.
Today, after classes noone was doing much so Ruby and I decided to venture out in the rain and find the 'Amazonian Museum' which some of the others had visited the previous week. It was quite a small museum but it only cost $2 entry and had some interesting things to see. There was lots of amazonian pottery as well as taxidermied animals... and shrunken heads. Shrunken heads were used both as war trophies and in religious rituals/ceremonies. The Museo Amazonico is Quito's only display of Tzantzas (indigenous word for 'Shrunken heads').
After spending 20 minutes or so in the museum we explored the Mariscal area - lots of night clubs, bars and hostals - which is the main touristy area of Quito. We managed to find an English Bookshop which Ruby wanted to go to so she could buy a cheap book to read. It was tucked in amongst the bars and nightclubs and was run by an older British man - definitely refreshing to hear some familiar accents and fluent english.
After lunch we decided to head to the 'Vivarium' in the nearby 'Parque Carolina' which is one of the bigger parks in Quito. The 'Vivarium' in Quito was quite small and was mainly home to many different types of snakes... not exactly my cup of tea but still worth the experience I guess? I mean they do say you should do one thing that scares you everyday. Don't worry all the snakes were behind glass though and so were the other 'exotic' animals including lizards, frogs and little alligators.
After dinner, a few of us headed round to Timo and Katy's host home and played cards for a few hours until 11 or so. Anna taught us an Ecuadorian card game called 'Cuarenta' that they had learned in class. So much fun! It is especially played in the mountain cities such as Quito and Cuenca. Can't wait to share it with friends and family when i'm back :)
Friday was our last morning of spanish lessons and we spent most of the lesson talking about fun tourist things to do and visit. During the break we also sung some Ecuadorian folklore songs and some spanish pop (good old Enrique Iglesias) whilst Fernando played the guitar and pan pipes. It was a nice way to end our 2 week spanish course.
We didn't do much in the afternoon except walk to one of the many nearby bakeries and enjoy a sweet jam-donut like bun and a bun with custard in the centre. It only cost 75c for both! I am definitely in love with the delicious, fresh and cheap bread over here!
Will update you on our weekend adventures soon :)