A lot of learning took place today, it was time for me to be the student for a change – a very enjoyable change it was too.
In the morning we went to Casa Herrara, a beautifully renovated 17th century mansion, which acts as a research and teaching facility for Mesoamerican archaeologists. We had a look around and an introduction to the country and why the Maya are simply incredible. From musical instruments to artwork right through to their troubled recent history, we picked up a lot of information.
Lunch was interesting too: not only did I see my first hummingbird, but I also got a surprise when I ordered chips with my meal and got these.
Healthier and tastier though.
It was back to Casa Herrara in the afternoon for a lesson in Kaqchikel, one of the many Maya languages still used today. It was delivered by Ixnal and her brother Kawoq, who were amazing teachers and had us performing greetings and introducing ourselves. Tomorrow morning we are visiting a school run for Maya children where they are learning their language, so we will get to try it out and hopefully impress them. As part of the discrimination against the Maya that they have endured for centuries, they have not been able to learn their language in schools and it is only recently, and then in only a few schools, that it is taught.
I am looking forward to teaching it to my class too when I get back.
We then took a stroll to a local market, a co-operative of Maya who produce and sell goods. There were so many things to see and buy that I may have to buy another suitcase (or just ditch all of my clothes).
I’m going to have to mention food again here, the Guatemalan cuisine is simply incredible. I even ate…, get this guys…., some beans!!!!!!!