Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Museum Adventures with Vanderbilt


We started the day with a late morning, homemade french toast, and english class lesson-planning while piled on the couches. After Dunc headed in to Quito to pick up our banos tickets for this Thursday, Alaina, Kira and I stopped by the local venta to pick up supplies for the evening's fruit salad (for some reason our cook came to the house at 8:30am to start dinner preparations and clean the bathrooms...apparently she thinks she needs to invest a lot of time to make us clean/well fed) and walk around Conocoto a little bit.

Everyone was out the door by 1, posters and glue and paintbrushes in hand in order to advertise for the upcoming teen center/library grand opening concert on our way to the Casa Barrial. After a few rough starts (not a good idea to try and paste a poster to a wall with severely chipping paint flakes), we got the hang of it, which will come in handy tomorrow during round two.

At 2 we met with the 14 students from my art class for a really special field trip to the Guayasamin art museum in downtown Quito. After piling all 25 of us (and Mafe's dog, for reasons we're still not quite sure of) into a far-too-small van, we were on our way... first to Conocoto to trade up the van size, then through the maze that is downtown Quito, and finally to the top of a far hill and the base of the museum's grounds.

The museum itself was a force of emotion. As it was my third time visiting, I expected the waves of emotions to hit me with a little less force, and yet each visit is an island unto itself, an experience encapsulated in the present and incredible unto itself. Walking through the museum with my students, who just last Thursday studied Guayasamin in class and created their own interpretations of his works, and listening to their responses to our guide's questions and their enthusiasm for what they were seeing was indescribably wonderful. And it was even sweeter to experience it with the Vanderbilt girls.

After a long bus ride back (made worse by the expulsion of all the pent-up energy the kids had kept a cap on during the museum), most of the girls headed home with Dunc, while Alaina, Kira and I (my two new fabulous cohorts!) headed up to the church for women's exercise, an hour that left us aching in the legs and wondering how Serena does it 3 times a week.

I just left the group up on the roof around a bon fire, roasting marshmallows, making smores, and dissecting their time down here thus far. Such rich conversation, challenging questions, and positive discussions we've had so far, I can't wait to see where the rest of the week goes. And (big news!) Dunc and I still love each other! We haven't fought yet! Best co-leaders ever :)

Until tomorrow,

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