Our lives have become ordinary. Maya wakes up and gets ready for school, I make her breakfast and then Eric and I accompany her down to the street to wait for her bus. Eric and I have coffee and read the paper and Eric leaves for work. He takes all computers with him today in a big duffelbag in a taxi; we are too worried about leaving anything valuable in the apartment when the painters arrive. I talk to the manager about leaving my passport and my green card in the apartment, and she assures me that no one will take them if they are hidden in a drawer. I wonder how deviously I need to hide them. My Ecuadorian friends tell me I should not worry so much, that papers are not so valuable.
Mornings are glorious in Quito. the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Unfortunately half of Pichincha has been burned by the forest fire two nights ago, and the evidence of the destruction is clear this morning. I walked around my neighbourhood today and enjoyed the crisp 12 degrees, which got warmer and warmer in the sunshine. I took the Echovia to the university to check my email and write again and suddenly half my day was gone!
I looked for Spanish schools closer to home, but after following the directions to three of them according to my July 2008 guidebook and not finding the schools, I decided that I would rather be back at the Banco Central, so I had another declicious coffee at Road Coffee, but had no time for lunch, so dashed into the Ambato Panificadora (bread shop) nearby and chose a ham and cheese croissant which was only barely edible, but gave me enough energy for the rest of the day.
I focussed on the art collection from the time of the conquest of the Incas to the present. I was trying to identify what made the Quito school unique. The description of the evolution of art in Ecuador and the relationship between the political events and the style of artistic expression was interesting and gave me an entirely way to look at the art. In the past, I have lingered in the archeological section of the museum and have whizzed through anything past 1532; this time I tried to focus entirely on the last 500 years.
Again I ran out of time, and rushed to meet Maya at Isabel's and take her to another audition. This time it was at FOSJE, which is a far more serious music school than the conservatory. Children are selected when very young to train with an instrument, with the ultimate goal being to prepare them for the national symphony. At Maya's age they spend about 11 hours a week with music instruction, including individual lessons, orchestra, and theory. Maya had her test for theory today and because she did not speak Spanish and had never learned 'do re mi fa so la ti do', which is what the children are taught here instead of CDEFGABC, she was placed at the very basic level at FOSJE. She will have an audition with the director of the orchestra Monday, and if she is invited, she will be able to play in the orchestra three times a week. I am sure she will not have time to do the eleven hours plus practice daily, so I am hoping she will impress the conductor enough to get an invitation.
We are off tomorrow for a weekend north of Quito. We will stay near Otavalo, and may visit San Antonio de Ibarra, but we have no agenda for now, just a desire to get away and explore in the truck.