My days in Quito have settled into an easy and surprisingly enjoyable routine – I am already feeling sad about swapping this city for the Galapagos (I know!) and even considering re-enrolling at the school again afterwards.
This is how my day goes…
6.40am – Wake up.
7am – Say hola to Maria and devour her breakfast.
7.30am – Walk to school. Try not to walk in wet cement like I did this morning. I’ve now officially left my mark on Quito.
8am – Arrive at school, play on facebook, write blog, make coffee.
8.30am – Lessons with Maribel. We have bonded. She asks me whether I’ve done my homework and how many cocktails I drank the previous night.
10.30am – Coffee break. Brain is frying.
12.30pm – Lunch. Eat Maria’s sandwiches, a delicious but frequently surprising experience, particularly the mince one.
1pm – Wander into town, go to coffee shop, go shopping, play cards, struggle to upload pictures onto facebook. If it’s an even night (see below) do homework because there won’t be time later.
5pm – Salsa/cooking/cocktail class. Die slow painful death in salsa. Get merrily drunk on badly made mojitos in cocktail class.
6.30pm – Get cab home. Have usual conversation with Ruth. Throw in an extra Spanish phrase I have been saving all day for her. She is so unbelievably proud of my progress, I just want to hug her.
7pm – Do homework, lounge on sofa. If Ruth is out, watch TV with Maria who jumps up every time there is a noise at the front gate.
7.30pm – Eat dinner – soup followed by something tasty and Ecuadorian. If Maria has the night off, it’s pizza. Ruth is a legend. It’s Spanish only at the dinner table so I keep my head down and listen out for my name.
8.30pm – Even night. Go out with the other volunteers, drink cheap cocktails and enormous tequila shots. Try to avoid getting mugged or worse, being asked to dance salsa with anyone.
9.30pm – Odd night. Go to bed to ‘conjugate verbs’ but secretly switch off the light and crash out. I’m far too old to keep up with the kids!