Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Grays Over Pichincha

Asking five doctors for their opinion is an invitation to confusion. The Ecuadorian neurosurgeon advised immediate urgent surgery, Dr. A from Hopkins suggested I was fine as I was, Dr. B was concerned and suggested I see Dr. C, and Dr C suggested I have an appointment with him to determine whether surgery is necessary. My dear friend Susan, who is an internist and has known me through my previous major accident, warned me against surgery and sent me articles to support her perspective. Dr. A was offended that I communicated with Dr. C who happened to be his partner (I had no idea), and washed his hands of me. Last week I believed my decision was whether to have surgery in Ecuador or Baltimore. Now I am confused again.

Perhaps too many hours and effort and agony have been directed to this decision. I had to escape for the afternoon, back to the Centro Historico, for a walk, back to my list of what I have yet to see, yet to explore in Quito. I am not sure how many times I will be on the Ecovia route to La Marin ) from Naciones Unidas to Benalcazar to Eloy Elfaro to San Martin to La Paz, Orellana, Baca Ortiz, Manuela Canizares, Galo Plaza, Casa de la Cultura, and Bolivar. Sometimes if feels that it takes forever to get to the end of the line, often it is much faster than by taxi, because the Ecovia has its own lane and does not have to wait in line at all the lights.

Once off the bus, it is long uphill hike to the Plaza Grande and the major cathedral and churches. I made my way to the tourist map near the Presidential Palace (Carondelet) and reviewed every museum listed and decided first to visit the Camilo Egas Museum, which my friend Debra recommended. Camilo Egas was a respected Ecuadorian painter who lived in the early 1900's and studied in Rome and Paris. He was known for his involvement in the 'Indigenist' Movement, along with Osvaldo Guayasamin. His 'indigenous' paintings are idealized, even when his painting evolved to a more abstract style. Egas' works were displayed in a small colonial home not too far from the Calle de las Siete Cruces.

Museo Camilo Egas

Self Portrait Camile Egas

I checked on the Benalcazar museum and the museum of colonial art nearby, but both doors have always been closed, and I do not expect to find them open over the next few months. I was satisfied to walk up and down the streets of the old city, admiring the courtyards and balconies, the grand churches and gracious entrances to homes and stores and offices.

Since winter weather has come, as expected, the rain came later in the afternoon, so there was some urgency to get out of the downpour before it happened. I was in the Ecovia retracing my route home when the rain started, and managed to avoid the worst of it. I am feeling almost my normal self now, and it is easy to forget all the activity of the past week and the decisions that have to be made, or not.

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