Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Patience and Patients

Kichwa Ceramics

Ecuadorians are very patient and I learned to be patient with them today. It was 'Dia del Maestro' and Maya had a day off school and had no trouble being patient with me and all the other patients waiting at the military hospital. I rushed us out of the door early in the morning and after our morning coffee and cocoa at Boncaffee next door, we sped over to the hospital to wait outside of Hernan's office. We watched several patients visit with him over then next hour or so. When there was finally a pause, I peeked in to advise him of our presence, and he told me to return at 12:30.

I did not realize that the hospital was so close to La Casa de la Cultura and Universidad Catolica. Instead of sitting and waiting some more, I pulled out the list in my head, and decided to visit some of the museums that I had not yet seen in Quito. Maya would have been perfectly happy to read her book in the hospital hallways, but agreed to indulge me for the time before we were to meet Hernan. We tried to get into the Museum of Musical Instruments at the Casa de la Cultura and although there were personnel and an open door, we were told by the security guard that it was closed for today. Maya wanted to show me an exhibition at Catolica which she had seen some weeks ago. I was surprised that she knew exactly where it was. Unfortunately it had disappeared. We were close to the Museo Amazonico at the Universidad Salesiana, and I have tried several times to see it but it has been closed every time. It happened to be open today.

Houarani Weapons

It was a simple display of artifacts from the Cofanes, the Kichwa, the Siona and Secoya, the Houarani and the Schuar. The largest exhibit was devoted to the Schuar, which is not the first time I have encountered that in a museum of indigenous Amazonian tribes. I wonder if the Schuar are more organized or educated or sophisticated. How is it that they have communicated so much more about their culture than other groups? I found the same in the bookstore connected to the museum. Again there were more books about the Schuar and their myths and culture, than any other Amazonian group.

Cofanes Boa Skin

We had just enough time to visit the museum, and we were back outside Hernan's door again, practicing patience. It was closer to 1 PM when Hernan walked with us to the MRI suite to request the report and copy of the MRI. I wanted a digital copy and had brought DVD's, but they did not appear to work for the copying. I went downstairs with Hernan to buy a CD, returned upstairs and was told it was not the right one. We returned to exchange it for a DVD, but again I was asked to find another one. Finally, Maya and I walked back to Catolica to check out several 'papelerias' until we found the right DVD-RW. We returned to the hospital again, but the MRI technician was gone for the day. I ran through the halls rather desperately and found him in his civilian clothes and a backpack on his way out and begged him to copy the information on the disc for me.

Maya and I rushed home. We had missed lunch and had about 20 minutes to eat and dress and go. We arrived at the Casa de la Musica for her concert. She was to play for 'El Dia del Maestro', but of course that meant more speeches and delays.

I had no idea how to send the DVD via email to the neurosurgeons anyway. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what to do, and finally just waited for Eric to drive the three hours back from Yanayacu. It appears complicated and so far we have been unsuccessful and it is midnight and I am still trying to be patient and stay hopeful.


  1. great coffee place right across from catolica, called espresso americano, uses ecuadorian beans only, owner creates his own espresso blend, the freshest and best roast ive had in quito

  2. Of course I'll try it! I have not had the best coffee since I moved to Quito!