Monday, July 12, 2010


View from the Teleferico

The streets were almost dry this morning and the sky was blue with clouds, so Maya and I decided to take the teleferico up Pichincha to see the city and hoped to see more mountains. We arrived later than planned, so that when we arrived up top, the clouds started to roll in and the possible views began to fade away. Guagua and Rucu Pichincha were both covered in snow, and appeared and disappeared behind clouds as we ascended the path. We veered off the prescribed path to the start of the climb to Rucu, where we decided to rent horses for a half hour. We did not go far, but I was delighted to wander through the high paramo vegetation.

Rucu Pichincha

We had limited time, since Maya had her last violin lesson and last orchestra practice and last concert of the year. I dropped her off at 4 after saying goodbye to her teacher Karin, and then visited the salon downstairs where I had my last manicure and pedicure. It was amazing to talk to the ladies downstairs and remember the early days when I did not understand anything and struggled so much to communicate. I still have a tough time understanding the Columbian woman who speaks so rapidly, but I am good at figuring out the gist of her comments and saying something intelligent in return. At least they think I speak Spanish even when I clearly am lost in the conversation.

High Above Quito

Up Close to Heaven

Maya had a concert at the Iglesia del 'Carmelo' on Amazonas and El Inca. I arrived early and found a mass going, and of course the concert started late. It was lovely to watch Maya lead the orchestra and I felt sad that she would no longer be playing with this group. She has always felt good at practice and with her orchestra friends, and often in those first months it was the place where she felt most confident. The children have been helpful and thoughtful and the conductor has been a delight. She has learned so much and is a much better musician now. When we told her violin teacher in New York that we would be moving to Ecuador, she had told us that it was the end of Maya's violin 'career' and that as far as she knew there was no one to teach Maya violin here, and that Maya would 'fall off' track here. Clearly that has not happened, Maya has learned so much and has grown so much as a musician.

Good bye Quito. It felt right to say good-bye from 13000 feet today. It felt sad to say good-bye to individuals. When Maya and I arrived home after the concert, there was a knock on the door, and Patti and Marcelo from the gym downstairs came by to say good-bye and deliver some gifts for us. I have seen either Patti or Marcelo at the gym almost daily since we moved into the apartment on September 7, so they have become a very regular part of our lives. Maya often joins me and reads or does homework while I work out, and Eric and I helped them buy a computer for their son Mateo, so our lives have intersected in all sorts of ways.

I have one more day to pack and say good-bye to too many people. I am not very good at saying good-bye so I am reassuring everyone that we will be back in January, which is true, but mostly avoids the finality of leaving.

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