Thursday, January 17, 2008

some more news

January 14 and 15
The students came back from the pueblos with many stories to share about their adventures, from farming to teaching Sunday School, from soccer games to boat trips. All in all they agreed it was an important and mostly very enjoyable experience. After talking over these experiences we had a lecture Monday and another one Tuesday morning. We also discussed readings and our developing cultural perspectives. We enjoyed an afternoon off Tuesday to explore the city, shop, or relax.
Wednesday, January 16
This has been a wonderful day. We left shortly after 7:30 a.m. for the archeological site of Chichen Itza. This is one of the very biggest sites, occupying 12 square miles, with numerous buildings carefully restored showing an abundance of carvings of both original Mayan and later Mayan-Toltec motifs. Over 300 buildings remain to be restored. We also saw the ball court with the stone rings through which the captain of each team tried to bump a solid rubber ball with shoulders or hips. There is a very large pyramid built on top of another pyramid, along the 90 stairs of which you can see a serpent outlined in light and shadows during both spring and fall equinoxes. We climbed the steps leading to the circular observatory and walked over to the ceremonial well in a sinkhole in the limestone (cenote). It was very hot in the bright midday sun.
We cooled off in an air-conditioned restaurant with a buffet, where we were entertained by folk dancers, and we changed into bathing suits in preparation for our next adventure. On the grounds of a nearby hotel, there is a deep cenote partially covered with rock, out of which falls a cascade of water into the pool below. You can take a set of stairs down to jump into the refreshingly cool water. The hotel has also built some steps up along one side of the cenote’s wall so you can jump off a high platform down into the water. This was great fun and the favorite experience thus far for some of us. We returned to Merida in time for supper, sunburned and worn out.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Gracias por compartir todas las experiencias del grupo y las fotos tambien con los que estan aqui en el frio de Michigan. :) Me hace recordar mis experiencias alli con mucha emocion. Espero que tengan unos dias buenisimos para el resto del viaje. Que Dios les guarde y les bendiga mucho!