June 5th, 2009

All the livelong day

My time in belize is winding down, y'all. You officially have only eight weeks to come visit me!
The rainy season started on June 1st, just perfect...but not before surprising us with an EARTHQUAKE last saturday night. I woke up at around two in the morning, my whole house shaking. It lasted about thirty seconds, and the animals went CRAZY. Horses, ducks, chickens, pigs, screaming bloody murder...altough a good few of them were actually being bloodily murdered, because it just so happened the next day was the start of PLANTING Tiiiiiime!! Ah yes, when thousands of Mayan men go out in the sun for hours, make holes in the ground with pointy sticks (again, very complicated technology, you wouldn't understand) and throw corn seeds into each one. Seven corn seeds. Not six, nor eight. Ten is right out. Has to be seven.
Amazingly, I soon became able to pluck exactly seven seeds from my cuxtal, and throw them perfectly into a two-inch wide hole in the ground. Every man goes to every other man's plantation and helps him plant. This communal work philosophy is really something that should be adapted to other village projects...whatever. I'm tired of complaining.
anyway, when the men get back home, the owner of the farm hosts a massive Caldo feast, consisting of pig or chicken, and plenty of corn tortillas and potch (steamed plain corn meal in a leaf). The houses are very hot during the late morning, and I wear long pants and long sleeves because of the sun, and the caldo is made with peppers hot enough to incite hallucinations of time travel; so although it's delicious, it's equallly painful. I'll never get used to it. And I'll remember this stuff forever.



 Chicken caldo (cald chilan) with tortillas (cua)

 Good bye John and Cheryl!! You have been such great volunteers, and even better friends. You really made a dent in the lives of many children in Belize, and your art and love of people will stay with these people (myself included) for a very long time. Good luck in the next step in your life together!!