Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maya is Ten!

Figure at San Fransisco Museum

Violin Birthday Cake

I tried to remember what it was like turning ten. I am sure that my life felt very uncomplicated then. Tara had her tenth birthday just six weeks before Maya was born, and her world turned upside down. Maya is more serious than I remember being, and tells me she feels no different at ten than she did at nine. It was an ordinary day for her. I woke her up and had her prepare for her '50 states' exam today over breakfast of eggs and chocolate chip cookies. I had stayed up last night until 2 AM baking eight cookies at a time in my toaster oven, which Maya brought to school as a treat for her classmates. She opened a couple of presents first thing, and brought her 'glow in the dark' yoyo to school. She had her ballet practice after school until almost 7, and then we surprised her at Isabel's house with a family celebration with sandwiches from 'El Espanol' and her favourite cakes from Cyrano's. There was a celebration at school as well, with cards and candies and gifts, which surprised her; she exclaimed that many of the children in her class were very kind and thoughtful and she felt very good about her friendships in school. Such a contrast to the recent past, when she told me she had no friends at school and had no one to invite to her party. She suddenly appears much happier and more relaxed at school and I am hearing her speak Spanish occasionally. All very hopeful. She talked to her sister (Tara stayed up 'til 4 AM to skype) and both sets of grandparents and got to bed far too late!

Local Design

I hijacked my Spanish teacher first thing this morning, and we took the Ecovia to the Centro Historico to look at an exhibit of nacimientos at the San Francisco museum. I had been told there were much nicer nacimientos for purchase around the plaza, but when I looked today the prices were higher than my budget would allow. I will try to be satisfied with my little collection of figures, and appreciated the collection of 'presebres' at the museum. Most of the artists were from Quito, and they were elaborate and innovative, and certainly entertaining. we strolled through the rest of the museum and remarked on the different styles and unique perspectives of each artist. I decided to be happy with my set of figures, which will certainly do for the four more nights we are here.

Using Cork as Background

Styles of Nacimiento

Amparo and I walked into several stores and I discovered that the prices are more reasonable than in the north, and I convinced myself to return for more shopping. We had to rush back to meet Andres, Amparo's son, who wants to buy a laptop and has requested information from Eric about a purchase. We ran into a group of young children dressed as Mary and Joseph and angels and the three kings. They were in a parade with young ethnic dancers and older women with bottles on their head , along with a brass band. We followed them through the streets and appreciated the dancing and the music and the very hot sunshine. This is a daily event through the Christmas season, along with the incredible traffic congestion. I rarely am able to catch a cab lately; they are busy because everyone is shopping for Christmas. The area around Quicentro (and where we live) is a madhouse after 5, and I have learned to walk in the opposite direction to escape the crowds and hopefully signal a cab who will stop.

More Angels

Everyone in Costume

It was my last day with Amparo for a month. It is shocking that I have actually been here four months! I cannot fathom how quickly the time has passed. We have adjusted to our new home, and our new lives and are comfortable in this new environment (except for the ladrones).


  1. Happy Birthday to you Maya! Ruth and Eric, you have a very beautiful and talented daughter! Merry Christmas to you all! As always, the photos are great and I think you have a book in the making! Take care.

  2. Thank you so very much!
    Merry Christmas!