Tikal, bonampak, and lacondona

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Apr 03, 2007

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

so.. i┤m just going to write down what i have in my notes..

a river we passed called rio de chokohal has a lot of minerals such as cobra and sulfur which is why it┤s so blue.. same for agua azul!! pretty cool huh_

the border between guatemala and mexico is the usamecinto river, and it was interesting cuz for baths, women and men just strip and take baths in the river..i personally was tempted to join, but i heard there┤s crocs in the river..

ok, the first ruins we went to was tikal.. it was there that i met laura, who was also part of our tour group. she┤s my new friend from salta, argentina.. i paid for her to stay the night in la selva, cuz she was only going to do the day trip (she paid me back).. but the ruins were HUGE and amazing as usual..

also, our van driver oscar was so nice to me. he also was a christian and was so thankful for his life.. and we were talking about education,and the costs, and the importance. he told me Ęstay with your studiesĘthey are a gift.. thank God his kids have the opportunity to go, all the way through college... he was so nice.i  got his number, and he said next time i┤m down he┤ll take me on a tour of everywhere.. it was really sweet cuz he had come by my hotel when we got back to palenque to take me to dinner.. i was staying at a different place so we missed eachother.. but such a goodman (and he┤s married and has kids so nobody get the wrong idea :) )

oh, and then after tikal we went to bonampak.. the most amazing part would have to be las pinturas.. i got really lucky, and there was an hobby archaelogist there and he was telling me all about it.. i guess back in the day... like the 70┤s less people went there, and the paintings were a lot brighter.. all the flash photography has caused it to fade.. and the reason the government still allows tourists is because they need the money.. oh.. but the pictures.. amazing.. did i say that already.. in the first room was a big party, people were drinking, playing music, dressed in colorful alphets and some with jaguar skin adorning them.. and they were commemorating a baby.. the second room was of a war between bonampak and tikal, and the warriors taken captive got their head chopped off, and nails pulled out.. what an awful way to die!! and i coudln┤t really see it, but supposedly there was a lady in the third room putting a string with thorns in it through her tongue to sacrifice blood to the gods. (the picture┤s not in there but men cut their penis┤s.. arent you guys glad you don┤t live back in this time frame)..

it┤s crazy because even in a culture across the seas from the east, the importanceof blood, and life, as sacrifices to god(s), was still known and felt.. hmm..

and it was also really cool cuz in our van were two cherokees south dakota.. they were saying how they traveled down there in 1995, and all the roads were blocked because of zapatista conflicts.. and back then there were no hotels, they sprung up in large part due to NAFTA

i also learned that indian reservations are both a state and a country in one.. and that some are rich, some aren┤t , depending if they have a casino.. she was concerned about the reservation because she believed that the kids were losing their heritage.. this seems like a reoccuring issue that keeps coming up, that God keeps bringing to my attention.. people are losing their history, what brought them to be what they are today.. and a new destructive culture of consemuerism is taking over.. how do we escape?

we styaed at el campo del vincente.. a cute lil mayan man.. so friendly and nice. the mornign after we slept there we went on a 4 hour hike in the jungle, with our guide pancho, he told me he could teach me mayan and three weeks if i come back.. tempting..

he told us about 2 major trees in the forrest.. ceiba which have HUGE roots, and mata palo, trees where you can see the roots from out of the ground.. and then we got to swim in the waterfall.. and there was a deep pool so i actually got to do laps.. God is too good to me..

ok, that┤s it for now..
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