We are still in Tena, boating almost every day of the week. Today, though, it was my turn to stay behind and complete some school work with Pops, while Mom boated with Dan. I was halfway done with my school day, when Dad decided to give me a break and a chance to be outside. And so, we left to explore the traditional Ecuadorean market.
After about ten minutes of walking through Tena, we came to the market. We walked into a big, open building in which were a maze of shops and stands. All around the market were open doorways leading inside. The majority of the market stands sold clothes and bathing suits, though on the far side, there was a traditional and native market selling beads, gourds, raw meat, vegetables, and other foods. This “other food” happened to be a sight that appalled both Dad and me. We found non other than live, squirming, giant, larvae for sale. Various plastic bowls were displayed containing thick, wet loam with interspersed sticks and twigs. Crawling through the soil, were fat, giant, and pale caterpillar larvae. Do not be fooled by the term “larva,” these monsters were bigger than Dad’s thumb. They were also hidden under the dirt. If one looked closely at the loam, one could see it writhe and wiggle from the movement of larvae down under. Watching these writhing larvae was extremely weird for me. It was even more weird to learn why Ecuadoreans buy these. We heard from a vendor that they wrap these up in leaves and cook them. Then they stick the baked-alive worm in their mouths and enjoy the delicious results.
School work today was a little boring, but I was very glad for the break to visit the local market. Tomorrow, I will go boating and I am so excited! I wonder if I will do well? You never know what tomorrow will bring!
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