Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The Coffee Tree

I returned to one of my old haunts today. For nine weeks, I took the Ecovia every Monday to Friday at 8:10 from 'Naciones Unidas' to 'Manuela Canizares', walked a short block to 'Jose Calama' and studied Spanish for four hours daily. At 11:00 each day, I had a sweet bread roll from Panificadora Ambato and a cappuccino at Coffee Toffee next door. When finished with Spanish, I often met Eric for lunch at one of the numerous restaurants in the Mariscal, or went for a walk throughout the neighbourhood, or visited Libri Mundi or the artesanal market, or participated in a salsa class. I always enjoyed the Mariscal, although it is described as too touristy or too full of bars or too noisy or too dangerous for gringos. I like the colours and the action and the feeling of youth and energy.

Mariscal Foch

My Favourite Fruit Stand

Panificadora Ambato, Daily Bread

I have two or perhaps three friends coming to visit me in the next few months, and going to Galapagos is a requirement for two of them. The Marsical is full of travel agencies, and I know from all the young students I met at Guayasamin Language School, that one can find great 'last minute' deals in the many travel agencies that are to be found on every block in the Mariscal area. I visited a few to explore the trips available, of which there were dozens. Since I have visited the Galapagos several times, I know where I would go if I was to organize a visit, and some itineraries are better than others. My friend Rebecca gets seasick on boats and would prefer staying on the islands and taking day trips, which is possible, and I found a delightful eight day trip that would suit her if she likes snorkeling, biking and horsebackriding.

Filming a Television Show

Graffiti All Over

I enjoyed planning the trips for my friends, but I also found day trips from Quito to Cotopaxi and Quilotoa, which looked fun and affordable. I want to travel to Cuyabeno, which is suppposed to be an exquisite part of the rainforest I have never seen, and am trying to put together a trip with my friend Debra, who is willing to travel 'rustically'. I am looking forward to 'showing off' this wonderful new country of mine.

I visited my salsa teacher 'Jipsum', and worried that I have forgotten all I learned last year, I scheduled a dance class for Eric and I together on Friday, and another few for me alone next week. It is better for us to learn together and it does not make sense for me to be too many steps ahead of Eric, but I love dancing, escpecially with Jipsum, and I must get back into the rhythm. Eric and I ought to be practicing!!

It was the first day of the private school championship in soccer, with an 'at home' game today, so I made my way by taxi to Colegio Einstein to cheer the home team. Maya had been the only girl on the team until January, but now her friends Analia and Marie Jose have joined the boys. The other parents appeared to know the names of every soccer player, and shouted encouragement for all. Maya's team played well and controlled the ball for most of the game, but were unable to score any goals (just like the Ecuadorian team, who did not make it to Cape Town for the World Cup). I was delighted to see Maya on the field occasionally going after the ball, maintaining her position, engaging in play. There will be games until midMarch, so I guess I get to be a soccer mom for the next few weeks!

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