Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stow Away

Since I've been back in Cuenca I've been pretty busy. I'm on vacation, so I'm able to just do what I want and it's nice to not worry about classes. Yesterday I spent the bulk of the morning writing about my trip in the Galapagos and uploading pictures. After lunch I went into town to buy a small backpack. I'd been using a TripAdvisor string bag to carry around my cameras and other things when I went out on day trips. But the bag broke the second day in the Galapagos, and I needed a replacement.

I wasn't really looking for a great bag, just something to hold my camera equipment, so I didn't want to spend more than $5. First I went to an almacen near my house and saw a pretty good bag. The store clerk said it was $8.50 so I said $5 and she agreed that would be fine. But the store owner wanted no less than $7, and I got the wink from the clerk that I shouldn't pay more than $5, so I left.

I walked around trying to find a bag and ran into three different students of mine at different times. I eventually found a market and bought a cheap bag for $5. I was about to walk home when I ran into an American girl named Patricia that I'd met a couple of weeks ago. She's studying abroad with a small group of students from Lewis and Clark University. Her class was going to the San Fransisco church for a field trip and she asked if I wanted to go. I had nothing better to do so I went.

I'd walked by the church a few times but never gone inside. It's been under reconstruction since I've been in Cuenca and has been closed to the public, but the teacher was able to get the class in for a tour. It was funny because with only a handful of students, it was clear that I was just jumping on board for a free tour, but it took at least 20 minutes before someone else asked me who I was. The teacher never even asked me.

We walked around the church and saw the workers fixing things, and then we were invited to go up to the top of the steeple 4 at a time. I waited until everyone else had gone up so as to not ruin their field trip. Once up top I could see the entire city in a panoramic view. The only problem was that I didn't have my camera because I had no idea I would get to see this. But I talked to the guide and told him that I was a professor at the university and he told me I could come back whenever I wanted.

It was cool sitting in with the class and made me miss being a student. It was definitely a fun time and I enjoyed being one. Otherwise, I've been spending the time reading "El Alquimista," by Paulo Coelho in Spanish, writing, and watching episodes of "The Office," which I have now finally completed.

In other news, I'm a few steps closer to getting dual citizenship with Argentina. My birth certificate has been amended to have my mother's original maiden name and has been sent to the Argentinian Consulate in New York to get a Hague Apostille, which is a form that must be affixed to any official document being sent internationally. I've also checked in with the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and double checked that I'm able to have both passports. So now it's just a matter of waiting for the forms to arrive and then going to the Argentinian Consulate in Guayaquil to sign the papers.

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