Wow, check out that devil mask! These masks are known in Panama as “Diablicos Sucios,” or “Dirty Devils.” They are part of Panama’s cultural tradition and folklore. The masks are made from papier-maché, and then painted and decorated with accessories. There are so many different mask designs and colors. Watch out for those devils!
Many of you know we went to Panama this year. One of our favorite places was the Anton Valley, or Valle de Anton. That’s pronounced “Vie-yay day Anton.” It is a small town in the center of an ancient, extinct volcano.
The old sides of the volcano come up on every side of the town and look like mountains!
We had an amazing time in Valle de Anton and started out at a butterfly sanctuary. There were some of the biggest and most colorful butterflies I’ve ever seen! Later, we had some yummy pizza at a local restaurant. I think the owner was Italian, his accent was different from everyone else’s.
After that, we rode horses and then explored the Nispero Zoo. We saw ostriches, spider monkeys, an ocelot, and even an American Crocodile!
Valle de Anton was a highlight of our trip. You’ll be able to read more about it soon!
Michael and I took a trip with our parents to Cincinnati this summer. One of our favorite places to visit was the Cincinnati Zoo. It opened in 1875 and is the second-oldest zoo in the United States! My favorite animals were the White Tigers, and Michael loved the Colobus monkeys. I got my face painted, and we all enjoyed a 4D movie. No matter how near or far you go, there are always exciting things to explore!
This is our new friend, Nigel. We met him on a recent trip to London, England. Nigel showed us so many fun things in London. Michael’s favorite thing we did was to play rugby. Rugby is a sport sort of like American football, but the ball is a little different and the players don’t wear pads. It can be a rough game. Look out, Michael!
Michael and I cooked plantains this week in preparation for an upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. They were easy to cook, and SO GOOD! Here’s an easy and yummy recipe you can try with your family:
Have you ever seen a mosaic? A mosaic is a piece of art made by arranging colored tiles. A great place to see mosaic artwork is in Barcelona, Spain. A famous architect named Antoni Gaudi made tons of buildings and sculptures using mosaics. Our favorite is the giant lizard in Park Guell – his name is El Drac (The Dragon in English), and he’s enormous.
Michael and I like to make our own mosaic patterns and pictures out of construction paper. Try your own and see what beautiful things you can make!
Michael and I did a fun dance in Peru called the huayno (pronounced why-no). It originated in the Andes mountains and is practiced mostly by the native people, the Quechua people. They have cool instruments there too, including one called a charango. It’s like a small guitar made out of an armadillo shell! Check out this fun video of people dancing the huayno.
Have you ever had quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)? It is one of my favorite grains. Quinoa comes from the Andes mountains, and Michael and I tried it when we were in Peru. Here is a yummy recipe that you can make with your family. Try adding your own favorite flavors as well!
- 2 cups quinoa
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup canola, olive, or vegetable oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ of a white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
- Salt and pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, and garlic. Once mixed, add in cooked quinoa and stir. Add in black beans, corn, peppers, and onions, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator.
Michael and I saw such cute and unique animals when we went to Australia. There was lots of sea life, and of course kangaroos and koalas, but also some animals I’d never seen before. We saw cute little echidnas (pronounced eh-KID-na), which are also called spiny anteaters. They are prehistoric animals and one of only 2 mammals that lay eggs. We also saw quokkas, which look like really small kangaroos – but they can climb trees! They’re about the size of a house cat, and they are very friendly with humans.
Check out these unusual animals! They’re called Capybaras and Michael and I saw them when we went to Rio de Janeiro. They’re so cute and playful, but they’re actually the largest rodents in the world! They live in forests and near water, and some people actually keep them as pets.