Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Vacation Learning; Colombia #10 Medellín

We embarked on a journey to the Arví Ecopark. I found out about it from Tripadvisor's list of top ten things to do in Medellín.  Arvi is 6th on the list; but to get there you need to use  the metro cable cars (1st on the list), and the metro train (5th on the list).  The portion of the ride on the metro cable car is amazing.  We moved on top of neighborhoods, and got to see beautiful parts of the city.  To make it a total hit with the kids, we found out about a program that pays community residents to paint their roofs.  The goal is to turn the trip into a eye-pleasing experience for those of us going above.  The kids spotted roofs with pictures of toucans, chameleon, peacock, monkey, flowers, flamingos, etc.

The ride to the top of the mountain, where the park is located, is simply breathtaking.  Above, you can see the kids next to the last station. 

We hopped on a chiva to Piedras Blancas part of the Comfenalco Ecological Park.

It was beautiful! We used their walking paths, and had a picnic in one of their shelters. 

We visited the butterfly house where we were introduced to the Glasswing Butterfly.  This intriguing and beautiful insect allows you to see right through it! 

Since it was a rather low season day in terms of tourist, the naturalist in charged, asked the kids to help her do her chores.  They were thrilled!  Above, they were collecting butterfly eggs. 

They also helped collecting caterpillars, and a moving chrysalis?

Afterwards we headed out to hike to another side of the park. The bridge above leads the way to the Museum of Entomology.  After many months studying insects, and trying to find more real life resources, I was ecstatic to simply stumble onto such a neat place.  Best of all, a biologist was ours for the duration of our visit! Little Guy was speechless.  Juan David, our guide, was amazing.  He talked to us about the preconceptions and fears people have when they see, or talk about insects. He was taken aback to learn that my two children actually love bugs!

Inside the museum we were able to see several real life insects, as well as, real size, and giant replicas.

We learned about larva therapy as an alternative to treat ulcers in the skin. Really? A larva that helps you heal? But according to Juan David, it is very common and widely used in Europe, and in Colombia. 

We also learned about how insects help our environment not only decomposing our garbage, but also becoming source of nutrition for us. We knew about the last part since we bought ants to eat.   

Little Guy was able to hold several species. 

Another view of the museum. It included giant replicas like a mosquito's head, a cricket's leg, a bee's stinger...etc. Off course it also has lots of dead specimens to observe and compare.

Little Guy even got to hold a real tarantula. Luckily it was inside the plastic container.  

Just outside of the museum we found this cute guy. 

When the time came to journal about their adventure, both kids decided to write about the entomology museum.

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