Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Day Before

We are flying to Lima early tomorrow morning for a short visit to Cuzco and Macchu Picchu. I am thrilled and, in preparation, have been reading about Inca history and reviewing my guide book cover to cover. I believe it will be cold at 13000 feet in Cuzco, so I visited the Artisanal Market in the Mariscal to buy gloves for Maya and a warm sweater for me. I have a thin rain jacket, which, combined with the wool/alpaca sweater, should be adequate. The weather will be warm in Lima and Macchu Picchu, but colder when we go higher.

It was 'Museum Day' today, with eighteen city wide museums opening their doors to the public at no cost. I would have loved to visit every one of the eighteen museums participating (most of which I am familiar with) but we had one of those typical Ecuadorian experiences this morning. Maya had received permission from her school to miss the day so that she could perform for students at th Benalcazar Collegio down the street from our apartment. I insisted she get to bed early last night in anticipation of a tough day with three performances between 8 AM and 2 PM. We got up early and spent an inordinate amount of time and several tries, to get her hair properly slicked back and in a flat as opposed to a round bun (Maya is very particular about these details). After a stop at Boncaffe next door, we walked to the college and tried to get into the theatre but it was locked. The security guard tried to help us, but had no idea what was going on. A few more ballerinas showed up, we called Maya's teacher Nina, who arrived in a taxi, along with more ballerinas. No one seemed to know what we were doing there. Each of the dancers were neatly dressed and made up, carrying fanciful costumes on hangers, waiting. Nina called the organizer and we heard only half of the conversation, but learned that the event was canceled but no one bothered to tell the Fundacion Danza or Nina. All the dancers had received special permission to miss the day of school to perform at the event!

I could not convince Maya to change into school clothes and return to Einstein for the rest of the day, so we had a far less successful homeschooling day, and met my inlaws for lunch at the 'Magic Bean' in the Mariscal. Eric and I had another salsa lesson, and it feels as if we are really 'getting' it and ready to go out and dance (I have said that before!). The dance lesson location has become a 'bar/dance club' over the past few weeks, and would be the perfect place to try our skills one evening. We have so little time before Eric leaves, so it will have to be as soon as we return from Macchu Picchu.

The Banco Central Museum is close to the Mariscal, so we took advantage of 'Museum Day' and I enjoyed giving a tour about the history of Ecuador from 10000 BC to the colonial period. I get very excited reading, learning, reviewing and talking about the early history of Ecuador, and am amazed at how much I have learned this year. I give a lecture about the Incas and the preColumbians each year, and although I have great slides and feel reasonably knowledgeable, now that I have returned to this museum so many times, I understand the subject at an entirely different level.

We have a 4 AM alarm tomorrow and have to be a the airport by 5, so it is time to get some rest before our next great adventure!

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