I am still feeling exhilarated after our birding day yesterday, pouring over photographs, eager to return and find more birds. I am not sure that I am quite the birder yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Our drive home was stunning. The sky was a piercing blue, the jungle carpeted the mountains in various shades of green until we ascended to the paramo,waterfalls and rushing streams appeared at every turn, and Antisana was clearly visible as we drove over the pass at Papallacta. Eric has driven this route countless times and has never seen Antisana until this trip. The view was spectacular.
Eric stayed overnight in Quito, and after breakfast with his colleague Rudiger and Debra and I, he bought equipment, ran a few errands, and drove right back to Yanayacu for more science. He will be back tomorrow afternoon to prepare for his lecture Wednesday and return to the cloud forest on Thursday. His mind is entirely focused on experiments and data interpretation and papers and that is a good thing. Meanwhile, Debra and Maya and I have been left to our own devices. Maya has a big concert Thursday night at the Casa de la Musica, and her guest conductor happens to be from Julliard, so she is eager to do well at her daily rehearsals. I am not sure how she will manage to be both at orchestra and at ballet at the same time, but she has somehow done it before, so I am sure she will do it again.
Debra and I visited the 'Happy Gringo' Travel Agency to finalize payments for her trip to the Galapagos next week. My friend Rebecca is coming next Tuesday and also wishes to visit the Galapagos, but would prefer a land tour, so I asked about the land options. I learned that the focus on the 'island hopping' tours is the landscape and not the animals, which would be a disappointment. We must make our decisions soon, so I may be back tomorrow.
We checked in on Amparo at my old language school. I have not seen her since volunteering at Tierra Nueva, and I do miss her and need more time with her to prepare for my work at CENIT, but I am not sure when we will be able to get together. Debra interested in returning to Quito in June or July and studying Spanish!
It was 'El Dia de la Mujer' today, and Amparo encouraged us to participate in the celebrations in the Centro Historico, but Debra and I were distracted in the Mariscal by the Artisania shops and the market and the bookstore and before I realized, it was time to pick Maya up from school. We did make arrangements to travel to Otavalo for the weekend, and climb to the Refugio at Cotopaxi later in the week! Having Debra here compels me to arrange more and visit more and see more and experience more of Ecuador, which is all good, and I am appreciating her very much.
Remembering my Birding Day!