July 18 – we arrived in Cuenca and went straight to a family that offered to host us upon our arrival. Oddly enough, we really did not know them before – they were friends of friends of friends and yet they still offered us amazing hospitality when we arrived. The family could not be nicer. Really, we totally lucked out. The father is a doctor and quite well known in the community so between them and their five daughters (and husbands) and 13 grandchildren, we had a great time. They took us to El Cajas, a famous national park (the Great Smoky Mountains of Cuenca) to do some sport fishing – we caught five trout and ate them the next day. They also took us sightseeing in Cuenca. They were super sweet and have a passion for food that they graciously shared with us. New fruits, new vegetables, new drinks would miraculously appear. We learned so much in those first few days about Ecuadorian food and culture. We were impressed with the strength of family. All of the siblings come over throughout the week – social time revolves much more around family than friends. We had a blast, but we felt like we might overstay our welcome if we stayed longer than a week, so we moved into a nice apartment for a month.