Tuesday, 19 June 2007

In the Land of the Living Maya March 23rd, 2007

Hola amigos,

I hope you╢re all living every moment to the full!

I╢m still in Mexico. At this rate I╢ll never leave! I spent a week in Sian Ka╢an Biosphere which is truly paradise, and there╢s practically nobody there. After a few days I was just wandering along the beach not caring about a thing, I was so relaxed. (Just don╢t ask me about the toilets!!) It was incredible to do the Lakota sweatlodge ceremony there. It opened up all my creativity channels and ever since I have writing furiously. Alas, where there are people there are always problems! There has been a very Native America struggle over ownership of the land, and the co-owner has been doing all sorts of weird things over the years to get my friend to leave. Last Thursday he went on the rampage, and the police arrested him and we had to vacate pretty fast to Tulum. There we spent the next 2 days in the police station. That was such an interesting experience! I wouldn╢t know where to start to describe it. Luckily, my friend has a miracle worker of a lawyer who I think has finally sorted out the problem. I was really glad I was there to support Anna.

Leaving Tulum (after visiting the magnificent ruins overlooking the most beautiful turquoise sea imaginable), our truck broke down, we dumped it with a potential buyer and we thumbed a bus ride on the dusty highway to Felipe Carillo Puerto, sitting on buckets the whole way. I╢ve never felt so glamourous. We╢ve been staying at Anna╢s friend╢s house, and have met some incredible people. Carillo Puerti is Pura Maya, as the Maya here were never enslaved by the Spanish. On Monday, I started Maya language classes in a small palapa down the street and have now had 4 or 5 so it╢s coming along! Everyone was telling me I╢d find it easy so I was in for quite a shock! Every sound sounds as though it was designed to whisper to somebody in the jungle. Every morning at the crack of dawn I wake up to the late roosters crowing, listen to the birdsong and smell the scent of a thousand flowers before walking past the workers in the field who all wave and say hello to the only ╢gringa╢ in the village (almost!). On the first day, half the police force ended up in the class with me, notebooks and all, they were so fascinated as to why I was there.

The teacher is an amazing man, Joachin Balam Che, a writer, poet and as everyone says ╢too pure for this earth╢. Today he took me to find a Mayan medicine woman or man. It was fascinating watching them cook up the herbal potions. I╢m going back later as there are far to many sick people in this town. Afterwards he took me see the Mayan radio station studios and meet everyone there. It╢s been a good day.

We also went ot stay on Lake Bacalar. The lake is incredibly beautiful, bright turquoise as it╢s freshwater. I was dying to jump in for a swim because it had been days, when the owner, another friend Gill, said that there were crocodiles there. They only come out at night apparently, but I didn╢t trust my croc radar enough to risk it!

I haven╢t decided where to go next. I have 3 places in mind: back to Playa, to Merida to meet a famous shaman there and friend of Lama, Humbatz Men, or to Palenque and the west of Mexico with an other friend. I╢m toying with the idea of returning to this place and writing, working and studying for a while. It really is peaceful here.

Lots of love, always,

Ma╢aloСb tuЗm,

Sandra

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