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Published: February 28th 2007
Parade at the local school.
Another day at school and we were up and out on time having just got used to morning lessons starting at 8.30am. Got to school to find we were going straight back out again (they could have told us and saved us walking up to the fourth floor). It is some celebration in Ecuador today which seems to translate as ´Flag Day´. As far as I could tell with my limited Spanish it´s something to do with the end of the war with Peru however long ago it was. Anyway, the teachers took us to the local school where all the kids were dressed up in uniforms that looked like sailor suits. Basically, it was the day to show off what we have heard them practising every morning since we arrived. Drumming and marching bands just outside your bedroom window is not at all conducive to sleep especially when it starts at seven on a Sunday morning (why!?) They were actually pretty good and only a couple of batons went flying.
I think it was a girl´s school and they had just borrowed a boy´s marching band as all the classes that were parading seemed to be all girls. They
all had Ecuadorian flags or batons and it was really good to see even if I didn´t really know what was going on! The teachers seem to have an interesting idea when it comes to ´intensive´Spanish courses. Either it´s four solid hours of grammar until your head hurts or it´s no work at all. Not that I´m complaining of course!
We ended up only having two hours lessons in the end before lunch. Lorena was late as she had been to the airport to pick up an Australian who apparently is joining us for the next week. She didn´t turn up however, hope she´s ok and isn´t stuck wandering around somewhere. I certainly wouldn´t fancy being lost here! Yet another example of our laid-back school. Lorena phoned them and they had no more idea than us of when she was coming and where she was flying from!
After lunch we set off for Quito old town to visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional. We´ve been in Quito almost two weeks and the only ´museum´we´ve been to was at Mitad del Mundo so we thought we´d the cathedral a look. Very impressive with the unusual touch of having turtles,
Basilica del Voto Nacional
It wouldn´t all fit in the photo!
boobies and iguanas instead of gargoyles! We took the lift (first one I´ve ever seen in a cathedral!) to the third floor where we had to walk along rickety planks on the top of the main body of the church. Very scary but worse was the ten metre high metal ladder set against the wall that we had to climb up at the end to get onto the roof! Gorgeous views though and Sophie B continued up the spire. You could see right through the stained glass windows of the dome down into the church. Next we went back the same way (coming down the ladder was far worse) and started the climb into the clock tower and the belfrey. Slightly weird to be standing behind a giant clock-face. It took hundreds of spiral steps and then three more metal ladders to get all the way to the top of the tower. I ascended a grand total of 78.23 metres! At least the view was worth it!
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