Quito was bright and sunny and warm and inviting this morning. The sky was clear, and the view of the mountains all around the city was spectacular . It would have been a perfect day to take the funicular, but today was not a day for sightseeing. We slept in to avoid traffic and then drove to Cumbaya to visit the Colegio Aleman. The road to Cumbaya is too long to manage every day, so unless we live in the valley, it is unlikely we would choose this school. The Colegio is quite wonderful, but Maya cannot be admitted because she speaks no German. In the early years, non-German speaking students are admitted and learn to speak the language, so by the time they are Maya's age, they are fluent. There is an entrance exam which she would not pass. Unfortunately I loved the school, so I was very sad that I had never taken the time to teach Maya German. The University San Fransico de Quito was close by, so Eric tried to connect with the professor we had met on the Santa Cruz, Kelly Swing, who runs the tropical ecology course through Boston University. The students on the course were so enthusiastic and were on their way to Tiputini Research Station deep in the jungle after their week in the Galapagos. Kelly was teaching a class when we arrived at the university, so we pressed on. We picked Isabel up to direct us to SEK, which is located a short distance from Jipijapa (wonderful name), the area in which she lives. Eric had not yet seen the school, and was more positive about it than I expected. It appears that the school is accustomed to children who do not speak Spanish and they expect to integrate Maya smoothly and easily into their program. I liked SEK the first time I saw it, but have polled all sorts of Ecuadorians about their opinion of the school, and most feel it is not academically challenging.
We returned to Colegio Alberto Einstein, which feels like the best option for us except that it is very far from where we plan to live. Maya would be on a bus almost an hour each morning and afternoon. I am not sure that is tolerable.
So once again, I do not know what to do and am no nearer making a decision that I was a month ago. Does it really matter how academically superior her school is if we are here for only a year?
We had an adventure this evening. The yoga group will stay in a lodge just outside of Quito when they are here, and I wanted to see if it would work for them. When I asked where it was, no one had heard of it. We looked for the Ecolodge San Jorge online and they had a great website but scanty directions. Our friend David offered to guide us and off we drove to the northwest of the city up the side of a mountain high over the city in the dark. The road was unpaved and not so inviting. Finally we reached the hacienda at an altitude of 3000 metres. I imagine the view is incredible during the day. It turned out that the lodge work well for the group, so I was reassured. Both Casa del Suizo and San Jorge will be a great adventure.
I have also decided to come to Quito earlier that I originally planned. Maya will have a chance to learn Spanish before school starts and I will help with the yoga group. It will be an opportunity to have more adventures.