by
on June 21, 2013 on 6/21/13

First Week in Cuenca

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Well, I’ll start with the good.  Cuenca is beautiful and the locals are friendly.  We are currently staying in nice hostel for about another week before the residence halls will open.  The senorita of the house is a wonderful cook and my Spanish is improving!!  Also, the other students on this trip from South Alabama are all very nice.  Beer and alcohol are cheap, and having free tapas is awesome.  The architecture is amazing, and we have been to 2 museums which were interesting.  The bad:  HILLS.  Steep ones.  And LOTS of them.  That I have to climb every day to get to school and back.  Although that will change once we get into the residence halls.  But we will still have to climb steep hills and stairs for any excursion we go on, which is QUITE frequent.  It is so hot during the day 80s to 90s – with a very dry climate – but it cools down about 20 degrees every night.  Hah!  Unfortunately there is no air conditioning in the hostel.  Hopefully there will be in the residence hall.  There’s not even any in the campus classrooms.  The time change is pretty crazy.  We eat breakfast at exactly 8:15, leave for school at 8:30, start class at 9:00, leave class at 2:00 to walk back to the hostel to eat lunch at exactly 2:30.  Except the days when the high is around the upper 60s and the nights are in the 40s.  Then if it’s Tuesday, we leave immediately to get back to school from 4 until 6.  Then walk back home and relax for a short time before dinner at 9 ish.  Then the sun usually goes down around 9:45 pm, so it feels like only 8 pm, and by the time we stay up and do homework and chat, it’s already after 1 AM.  So I’m not getting much sleep.  The ugly:  My hair.  I had to leave my shampoo as well as a few other items because the 13lb over the maximum luggage weight would have cost me $497 BOTH WAYS.  So I bought shampoo here.  I think it has conditioner in it, so every day is a bad hair day.  Also the pain in my feet from all the walking.  So I’m posting some pictures so you can all of the beauty here in Cuenca.