June 13th, 2008


(no subject)

yesterday, we walked 1.2 kilometers to the ruinas and explored for three or four hours. quite beautiful and impressive. then we walked another 2 kilometers to the sepultura, which was a community for the rich. we acquired a guide sort of by accident, but i'm glad we did. he told us quite a bit that we wouldn't have known otherwise, including that the mayans buried their dead in tombs and then built beds on top of them so they could be close to them.

jane is interested in local herbal medicines, so she arranged with Marcial (our guide) to take us to visit a shaman today. we took a van, overloaded with 18 people, almost to the Guatemalan border, and then hiked up a muddy road to a small village, where we didn't meet the shaman, because he was in town getting a statue of st anthony for a ceremony tonight. it was fascinating nonetheless, to see how the campesinos live. tomorrow we are going on horseback to another set of ruinas, and monday we are going to try again for the shaman.

this afternoon, we had our first one on one classes in espanol. they were mentally exhausting, but worthwhile. i think after four days here and three weeks in guatemala next month, i should at least be proficient...