Sunday, August 14, 2011
Yesterday Chris Oshiro and I visited Merida. I was here in the 1970's as a very young woman, camping on the beaches and taking cheap buses with a friend. It was very rural, the town was very small. In the mid 1990's, the town was growing, a lot of fast food chains and Walmart arrived, it was dirty and crowded and disappointing. This visit reveals a beautiful city, clean, beautiful old building built in the early 1900's in French, Moorish and Spanish architecture, renovated and colorful. The streets are wide, clean, and beautiful. It feels safe, and people seem very friendly. We went to the Anthropology museum, to see beautiful stone statues and remains from the Mayan culture. We decided to go to Chichen Itza on Tuesday to see the massive stone city ourselves. The historic part of the museum was sad, with pictures of firing squads and soldiers dead in battle. I think in Mexico the Indian populations are still not treated with due respect, other than in reminders of ancient cities and ruins. The living Indios, the Mayans, tend to not be treated with due respect, nor their living cultures celebrated as much as they deserve. Our tour bus driver also told us this is so.
It bothers me to see the bones of the dead on display. I blessed them. If reincarnation is true, someone may be alive today whose bones are stores in a museum exhibit. Even so, their ritual funeral and burial was not meant to be on display in some day in the future. I'm glad archaeology has evolved to not be so barbaric and disrespectful as it once was.
We went to Katun for dinner, serving Yucatecan food. We had sopa de lima and a Yucatan fish served in banana leaves. Great corn tortillas, home made! It's easy to spend a lot of money on good food!
Wildlife: boattailed grackels, really noicy! Royal palms lining the fancy estates. Ceiba tree, sacred, beautiful, emense, great presence.
More adventures today, and preparation for the conference.