Sunday, January 20, 2008

The day we lost two students

In front of the museum of Anthropology. We discovered just after this that we had left two students down at the cathedral. Fortunately they were soon found.

TGI Fridays

food we recognize! yeah!

The jarana or La Vaqueria

This year there were groups of folkloric dancers from many different towns dancing the jarana in the plaza on Monday night.
Usually just one group performs, but this was how it used to be: everyone in their finery coming into town to dance.
This was the Friday before; a different band played on each corner of the plaza and the people danced. It was mostly Tejano music.

The cathedral at night

the cenote Ik'kil

It looks scary but there is a very wide staircase carved into the earth beside of the cenote
Once down at the bottom there is a stairs from which the daredevils jump (or dive)
Getting to jump as a group

It was great to cool off after a hot day at the Chichen Itza ruins.

Chichen Itza

Our service project

The pictures are not in order but you can see we worked hard and they fed us well.
Tyler LOVED these tamales!!
The ladies who brought the food.
It was a very hot day!

working hard with pick-axes digging the trench for the wall
eating tamales for lunch
moving rubble

Sunday, January 20

Well, we have come to our last day in Merida. On Friday and Saturday we had student presentations on various cultural topics such as dating, weddings, the church, typical observance of the Day of the Dead, Mexican popular music, traditional herbal medicine, tropical fruits eaten in the Yucatan Peninsula, and many more, 34 to be precise! In addition we heard our two final lectures, on the Mexican economy and on suicide among Mexican young people. After one final lunch provided by a local pastor´s wife, we reflected a bit on all the things we have learned in the past two and a half weeks. We agreed that although we can´t really say what Mexico is like we do have a much better idea of what Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula are like. We have visited several historical and archeological sites, seen some natural wonders, read about history, the church, and society, spent a weekend in a village, visited a Christian clinic and the Museum of Anthropology, but, more important, we have broken bread, prayed, and shared everyday life with our Yucatecan brothers and sisters in Christ.

Today we spend a quiet day with our host families and pack our bags, and first thing tomorrow morning we head out by bus for the ruins at Tulum and then the beach at Playa del Carmen. We hope to spend Tuesday at a park called Xcaret (I imagine you could look it up on line). They have various water attractions including snorkeling, as well as a butterfly garden, a zoo, an evening sight-sound show, and much more. We will be just tourists for the day. Then we will have Wednesday to relax, go to the beach or do anything else we like, and on Thursday morning we will board our bus one more time to go the airport in Cancun and head back to the ice and snow.