Haley Smith
Haley Smith
Ecuador, 2018
From July -September 2018, I will be interning with Sinamune, an organization in Quito, Ecuador that provides music education and other services to individuals with special needs. I will be assisting with music classes, performances, and more. I am excited to experience the Ecuadorian culture and learn from these incredible individuals! Read More About Haley →

Week 4, La Más Mejor! (Part 1)

Monday, July 30th

Today was a great day! It started out at Sinamune rehearsing with the orchestra. After that, they told me I would do music therapy sessions one-on-one. As a reminder, our program coordinator Diana had a meeting today with some people from La Casa de La Cultura del Núcleo Pichincha (the cultural sector of the provincial government). Apparently the meeting went well, because she messaged us to say they wanted to meet with us this afternoon and take some pictures for the promotional material.

We met Diana at her office and then took a taxi to the historic center, where La Casa de La Cultura is located. The official people were still in a meeting, so they sent us to take pictures. We thought it would be a quick snap of our faces for a poster or something, but oh no. This was a legit photo/video shoot. The three of us were freaking out because we hadn’t know this was going to happen, so we had not dressed for the occasion and we all thought our hair looked terrible. No matter. For the next hour, they took photos and videos of us, first on a patio, and then up a ladder onto the roof of the building! It was beautiful; you could see all of Quito stretched out before you. They had Cosette play her flute and move around on the roof. Then they had a synthesizer for me to (pretend to) play, and then instructed me to sing something and do a lot of gestures (lol). Then they had Paige dance on top of this cement block and she almost fell off the roof! We were all pretty awkward haha but the whole situation was so strange and unexpected.

After the photo shoot, we met with the directors of La Casa de La Cultura. They were very friendly and we talked about what classes we would offer and what our schedules would be. The plan was for us each to teach 2 2-hour classes every day. I would be teaching choir, Cosette would be teaching flute, and Paige would be teaching dance.

We were still waiting to hear whether or not Sinamune would have enough students to offer camp to in the mornings or not. Diana said they would let us know tomorrow.

Well, this all seems very promising, so I hope everything works out well!

Addendum: Today was the first day in three weeks that I didn’t bring my rain jacket with me and of course today was the first day in three weeks that it rained here in Quito! Just thought everyone should know.

Tuesday, July 31st

Today was the last official day of Sinamune summer programs. First, the orchestra played for tourists and then we loaded up the buses to head to… the discoteca! At 10:00 am!

They had rented out a discoteca for Sinamune at some public park complex, and we danced for three hours. It was so much fun and so entertaining. All of the students had the best time. Some of them can really dance, and they were all so into it. One boy in particular, a 13-year-old named Israel, was so excited he could hardly contain himself. The whole bus ride he couldn’t sit still, and then when we got there he was enamored with the mirrors that covered the entire perimeter of the circular room. He also kept running to the bathroom every 5 minutes to slick his hair down with water! He would come back dripping wet, and then would dance in the mirror and watch himself! He kept wanting to dance with Cosette and he wouldn’t leave her alone! He told her that he had a girlfriend who was also named Cosette. We couldn’t stop laughing. Another man, Eduardo, was running around the room yelling “ESTOY BORRACHO!!!” (“I’M DRUNK!!!”) Of course, he wasn’t; all they had had to drink was cranberry juice, but I think he truly thought he was drunk. It was a wild time!

After that we went to Spanish lessons. Then I came home, showered and went straight to bed. Dancing for three hours is not for the faint of heart!

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