Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On a traditional Mayan farm on top of a mountain

I'm in an incredibly foreign place, and it's wonderful. I'm by the cooking fire of our guide Alfonso's grandmother's house. Tortillas are frying. A woman is kneading cornmeal and water to make a paste for tamales, and more maize is cooking in a huge pot over the fire. Alfonso and his father are planting this week and enlisting the help of 25 others, so there's going to be a big fiesta at this house tonight. Hence the house is full of tamales made in preparation for all the people who are coming over.

It was dim before, but now that the sun has gone behind the mountains, it's quite dark. There's just light from the fire and a candle. Hardly any furniture, very few possessions, lots and lots of ears of maize hanging from the ceiling to dry. Chickens, turkeys, a scraggly kitten, a few dogs and 2 cows. Scott is out playing soccer with Alfonso and Matteo and 3 little boys.

It's sort of hard to describe this place because it's so different... it's hard to know where to begin.

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