School dazed

Katherine is in for one fantastic educational experience!

We visited her school today and took first steps to getting her enrolled.  A 15-minute taxi/bus ride to escuela CEDEI (Centro de Estudios Interamericanos).

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This is a relatively small, private trilingual school that prepares students to become proficient in Spanish, English and French before they graduate. Classes are small, with a Spanish-speaking and English-speaking teacher in each class. Subjects are taught in both languages, with French being available at grade 3.  Music offers guitar lessons along with concerts and other opportunities to sing.

She will begin as soon as paperwork is completed, which entails having all her documents from the US translated and submitted to the Ministry of Education for approval.  She’ll wear uniforms (not such good news to her, but great to me!) and take the bus. Up and out of the house pretty early in the mornings,  but she’ll be out of school by 1:30.

Here we pay $40 a month for bus service, but it will be far less expensive than taxi.  Too far too walk.

CEDEI was founded in 2000 in order to offer students an alternative to the more strict, traditional way of learning that is standard in Ecuador.  Learning is somewhat customized to the way the student learns best.

We toured the school the other day and Katherine’s excitement was quite obvious.  She’ll fit right in.  Only three other girls in her class ( I think the photo above is from the class in which she will be enrolled) and they came right up to her when we visited as if to say, “Finally, another female!”  No words were exchanged but big grins.  She will be welcomed.

IMG_4276Mountains surround the school.  The view is beautiful, despite construction sites across the road.  The computer lab is a bit dated, but she has a computer at home and technology is not what we’re all about these days anyway. She knows enough about computers to get by.

It may take a week or so for all paperwork to get processed, so until then, Katherine is enjoying late mornings and a looser schedule. Things are about to change, chica!

Lots of rain the past couple of days.  The lazy Tomebamba river across the street (just one of the four that runs through Cuenca) is high now and flowing muy rapido.

David and I ate lunch out yesterday at a small out-of-the-way restaurant. The standard lunch (almuerzo) sells for $2.50 (soup, juice, rice, meal and salad with small desert) but I was hungry for la hamburguesa and papas fritas — yep, hamburger and french fries.  And it was, absolutely one of the best burgers I’ve had in my life.  And the  homemade, freshly cut and cooked fries–just delicious!

I complimented the chef as best i could  (big smile, “mi gusto!”). She said (I think) the burgers were Colombian.  Too big to hold and eat, the two soft buns held a  burger with cooked onions, fried egg, fresh tomatoes, cheese and lettuce topped with a sweet barbecue-type sauce.  We should have shared one meal.  Instead, David had leftovers for dinner last night.

2 huge burgers, 2 fries and 3 bottles of mineral waters: $11.25, including tip.  High rollers, I know.  We won’t spend that every day.  Compare that to the Meers burger we had in Oklahoma (hailed as one of the top is the US) with a price tag of $13.00, drinks and fries not included!  Money goes a little farther in Ecuador.

The restaurant was open air, and we found ourselves being courted by a flock of pigeons. We shared our bowl of popcorn with them (Chinese restaurants serve noodles, Mexican provide chips, here we get popcorn) and watched a delightful sideshow. Pecking order indeed!

The proprietor’s son, about 4, walked by our table numerous times, flirting and talking softly. his beautiful eyes will one day make young girls swoon.

A lovely break. From here, David went to make photocopies of Katherine’s documents and I returned home to check on Katherine. And take a nap.  I’m retired now, you know.  Naps play an important part of my day!

One week from today I will attend a writer’s conference to be held just a few blocks from our apartment.  The first of it’s kind here in the city.  I’m not familiar with the speakers but I anticipate it will be an excellent opportunity to meet other like-minded folks from the city and surrounding areas.  I have no aspirations for novel writing, but the camaraderie of wordsmiths will be most welcome. It’s being hailed as international–maybe because the speaker is a New York Times bestseller, I’m not sure. Not really important. What is — three full days of mingling with others who like words.  Should be fun.

IMG_4278No great insights today.  Just awareness of being very much at home in this vibrant, kind city. No one seems in a terrible hurry. Taxi drivers, while at times daring, do feel safe. Night sounds don’t bother us much, although we’ve heard other expats grouse quite a bit.

So far it’s a land that rains every day but always has the sun shining at some point. Life’s a lot like that, right?

Did we really once live in the USA?  Seems so far away.

A good day to you all. Adios.



4 thoughts on “School dazed

      • You seem to enjoy social interaction, so learning the language should come easily. Just go for it! Talk to everyone and anything and nothing. You’ll be chatting up a storm in no time.


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