rubibees: (ancient bee)
[personal profile] rubibees
19 June
We arrived in camp last night just before dark. Flight was fine, full of drunken people headed to Cancun, as such flights usually are…even the 17 year old Crew disapproved—“This is why you don’t drink and fly” one of them said. They are remarkable 17year olds…We couldnt find Joe, my student who arrived an hour earlier in Cancun, but while I was picking up the rental van, he sent me an email. Went wild and turned on roaming for a moment to see if there was news from him, and there was! Soon we had him and piled into our super-sized Town and Country “mini” van and hit the road. This car is much too large and fancy for the village, but it was the only thing that held all 7 of us. We got gas and hit the usual 7-Eleven north of the airport, and the Crew all talked about how much it seemed like Miami, with the Burger Kings, and the Bubba Shrimp Company. Tyler said, its more American than Miami, Miami isn’t American enough for Bubba Shrimp. Its more like Orlando.

In 2 and half hours we were leaving the toll road, empty as usual, the Crew seemed unmoved by my explanation that this unused toll road was a money laundering venture for the drug cartels. Because it was getting dark we headed straight to the village. We pulled in to the camp, it was very overgrown despite Aline being here two weeks ago and leaving money for gardening…not sure if that happened, or not but it might just be the heavy rains this year. We found the Comisario Municipal (like the mayor) and got the 27 keys to the various huts…just as he said, all the keys only opened 3 huts. He was happy to solved the problem by taking the locks off the doorjambs, and said he had to do that last week when the ladies came in to clean our rooms. There is always an expedient solution here to little challenges. The rooms were not very clean, especially the bathrooms, but we found our spots and there are two boys in each room with me in my own. The Crew all gathers in room 3, the one built especially for me when I had babies in camp—it still has a great vibe. I am unfortunately in what used to be the lab, which is dark and damp. My original hut is being used for storage, which is too bad. We dropped out stuff, dug tables, chairs and hammocks out of the store room, figured out how to fill the cisterns with water, and decided we really needed food. We headed back to Piste, about 20 minutes now that the road is paved, and had great food at the sandwich shop Fabiola’s. These are about the only people in the food service industry that I trust in Piste. The boys ate like hungry dogs and loved it. A quick grocery trip to the new Super Willy’s in Piste, which is about the size of a 7-Eleven at home and not as well stocked, but the best there is nearby, and we were on the road back to Yaxuna, eating cookies that the boys said tasted like Eggo waffles with maple syrup.

Today we did a ton of things to get organized. A cook showed up and made us eggs and tortillas, a cleaning lady came to get the rooms in order, and two gardeners, who transformed the camp into what it usually looks like. We can see cacti and fruit trees that were invisible yesterday. I went to find the electrician in the next town over, since you have to get to him early in the day before he starts drinking. We did a real grocery trip and spent 100. dollars on food for the next two and half days, compared to the 50. dollars for the one meal last night. I am talking about the costs a lot with the boys so they get an idea about what is similar and different about the two economies. Morgan is keeping the budget. Each of them will have a job eventually. Jonathan is our main communicator, as he is more comfortable with Spanish than the others, but even the shy ones are saying a few words here and there. Logan suggested to the cook, Dona Rita, that he was my boyfriend, but Jonathan helped him with the correct word for nephew.

We did a supply run to buy paint so we can start painting houses, and ate watermelon and strawberry popsicles in Valladolid. We also had to buy tanks of gas for cooking and stuff to repair one of the toilets. Came back and made some sandwiches, then chilled out during the afternoon rains. A lot of rain got into my hut through some old rotten thatch, so I moved my hammock, had to hang blankets etc up to dry and spent some time perfecting my squeeging technique.

Late afternoon we all went into to town to visit the Cultural Center, and met Manuel who runs it, and Mayri, his assistant. We took the tour of the museum, saw the cenote, and picked up some brushes, rollers, etc for painting. One the way home the Comisario, Don Orlando, offered to drive me around to ask people if they wanted their houses painted, and we had three takers right away. One guy had quite a conversation with Orlando about the shade of green…and would it match or clash with the shade of green on his doors…this was in Maya so I was happy to be able to follow it…but the end result was he liked our dark green and said yes. So our first house will be the bakers.

Now its dark and cooled off, luckily it doesn’t look like its going to rain tonight and the temperature is actually a bit cool. I needed a blanket in my hammock last night. Most of the boys slept well in the hammock, Jonathan and Gene had that experience of waking up and not being sure if they had slept. ;) The stars were amazing last night—we could see the Milky Way and tons of constellations. The boys are still adjusting to not having all the electronic stimulation…they looked at the stars for about a minute then went back into room 3 to play more cards.


Date: 2012-06-25 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why are you painting? And why green?

Re: Green

Date: 2012-07-01 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Painting towns a single color or a single color scheme is a thing in YUcatan. I think it started when the Pope came to Izamal many years ago and they painted his route this horrible mustard yellow. But since then, towns have picked up the idea and try to adopt a color scheme. Yax means green in Maya (it can also mean first) so my anthropologist friend Grace had the idea to start painting houses and buildings in yaxuna green. As to why we painted houses, it is one of the most straightforward ways we can help...the boys also taught computer lessons, but paint is expensive here ($100. US per 5 gallon bucket) and people who are subsistence farmers with no steady access to cash dont have the extra to paint their houses.


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