Friday, June 11, 2010

A Long Way to the Beach

Peruvian Hero on Plaza Argentina

It is Eric's last weekend in Eucador and we have decided we will go to the beach to celebrate. We have not visited the coast at all thus far. I arbitrarily chose 'Canoa', which is eight hours away by car, or probably faster with Eric driving. Our original plan was to travel during the night and arrive in the morning (there are buses that regularly take this route), but as the day progressed, we lost enthusiasm and agreed that getting up early in the morning and driving the truck to arrive around noon makes more sense.

Without planning much, my day filled up with activities. In Spanish class we watched an Argentinian movie, but I kept reading the subtitles instead of listening to the Spanish, so I am not sure how much I learned. Fridays are movie days and I am enjoying movies I would never see if not for Spanish class.

I joined Eric for a penultimate salsa class. We are finally truly dancing, and Eric is so confident he is making up his own moves, which are harder to follow than the ones I expect from him.

I took advantage of another glorious day of sunshine and warm temperatures and walked down Seis de Dicembre, feeling comfortable and relaxed. Few people were walking, and the offices and apartment buildings were quiet. It is an entirely different experience at street level. I am more accustomed to the Ecovia or a taxi, where everything streams by. Walking gives you an entirely different view of the world. I have had the opportunity to walk so much during our year here. I walk across Carolina several times a week, I walk to the bus stop, to the grocery store, to the movies, to the shopping centre nearby. Today was special because I was not in a rush, it was a leisurely walk, so I could pay more attention to the familiar route.

I have been picking Maya up on Suecia for the last two months (rather than at Isabel's or at our door), so her bus can turn right onto Republica del Salvador instead of left in front of our apartment. I expect her at 3:45, but most days she is ten minutes later, sometimes even 20 or 30 minutes late, so I wait and read my kindle and wander in circles on the corner. If it is an orchestra day, we run across the park to get to practice quickly (she cannot play if she is tardy), if it is a ballet day, we go to the apartment to change and then take a taxi to Rio Coca. She has daily practices in preparation for her performance next Saturday at the Teatro Bolivar, but we arranged to have her leave early today so we can get on the road for the beach, except that the beach may not happen tonight.

Eric insists that we take nothing of value with us. The coast is considered less safe than the sierra. There were once bandits on the road to the coast, and we are told to be prepared for such an occurrence. I am trying to decide about my camera, which goes everywhere with me and feels essential. I could not bear it if it was taken from me, but then it is also old and outdated and not very valuable. It is in a pile with the rest of the backpacks, and I will decide when we finally leave whether it comes or goes. On to the BEACH!

Concert at La CompaƱia

Altar of La CompaƱia

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