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A day in Cuenca

March 13, 2018

This morning I woke up to birds chirping and sunlight pouring into my room. It was beautiful.

I spent most of my morning writing and drawing. I just started an instagram account displaying my drawings, called FinnMation. I was doing drawings to post on it. I was also working on a project about an interesting bird that I had seen in the Amazon, called the Hoatzin or Stink Bird.

My brothers and I were treated to bacon and eggs for breakfast. This was actually the second time we have had bacon on this trip! I mean... we're Canadians and we've had bacon ONLY two times on this adventure!

After breakfast we went to the CIDAP museum (Centro Interamericanos de Artes Populares) that specialized in showcasing artesanal crafts from all over South America and beyond. At the museum, we saw a lot of interesting things . There were bull statues, paintings, ceramic pots and more. The most unnerving thing we saw was a painting of two guys fighting with their penises!!! Who even comes up with such things? I think I will never get that out of my head.

We then went out for lunch at a great cafe. I had beef tacos which were amazing!

After lunch, we went to another museum about how panama hats are made. Despite the name, panama hats are actually made in Cuenca, Ecuador, and not Panama. They were first introduced in the 1500's. The hat weaving industry steadily grew in the 17th and the 18th century in which they supplied hats to workers of the California Gold Rush. The hats were shipped from Ecuador via Panama to California and other parts of the world. Thus it mistakenly earned it's name, the Panama Hat. They are made with the toquilla straw and are all hand woven. After the hats are woven they are shaped with a machine press to give it the classic shape. The quality is usually defined by the tightness of the weave and is reflected in the price. I find that it is amazing that they can be hand woven so tightly.

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