Uh-May God! Visits to a Traditional Maya Village and the Sijil Noh Ha Lagoon to Begin the Week

Good evening from Felipe Carrillo Puerto! After such a hectic weekend, I thought that the beginning of this week would be a good time to settle back down. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve been extremely busy the last few days, and here’s what I’ve been up to:

On Monday, I returned to my five hour-straight Maya class. On that day, I learned at least 200 new words spanning adjectives of size, quality, and shape, and terms for different family members (much more descriptive than in English). When I returned home for the first time since Saturday, it came as a large shock to find two white rabbits sitting in my hammock. Immediately, I sought Javier and Jnorman to inquire, and it turned out that ;they are our two new pets. We came up with names, Captain Morgan for the female, and Sr. Jeremy for the male (Jnorman wanted Pinky, but Javier and I won the naming battle). However, Captain Morgan escaped from her cage on Monday night so only Jeremy is left now…

Jnorman's new best friend Senor Jeremy
Jnorman’s new best friend Senor Jeremy
I'm not even going to touch these jabañero peppers (the spiciest in the world) after what happened last time I tried...
I’m not even going to touch these jabañero peppers (the spiciest in the world) after what happened last time I tried…
My favorite tacqueria in town-- Monday's dinner
My favorite tacqueria in town– Monday’s dinner

Sr. Jeremy is really the first pet I’ve ever had, to be honest. And I really enjoy it, no matter how sharp his paws are when it crawls on my skin. Especially when Jnorman puts him inside my hammock when I’m sleeping at night!

On Tuesday, instead of the usual Maya class at Na’atik, I ventured with my teacher, x-Linda, to her native village of Uh-May. Unlike Felipe Carrillo Puerto, which is a (relatively) large town of 30,000, Uh-May only contains 600 inhabitants, all native Maya. While there, I practiced with x-Linda’s family the Mayan phrases I have been learning in class, and helped prepare the lunch of chicken pibil. Chicken pibil is a traditional Maya dish of chicken prepared by burying the chicken with its seasonings in a large hole in the ground, which enhances the flavor (the chicken is wrapped in banana leaves so it doesn’t become dirty). After lunch, I toured around the village and learned about traditional Maya beliefs regarding death, reincarnation, and medicine. We then returned to Carrillo, picking up tropical juices along the way home. Thank you x-Linda for inviting me to your family’s home!

The village of Uh-May
The village of Uh-May
My teacher x-Linda's house
My teacher x-Linda’s house
A traditional Mayan super-food, chaay is very similar to kale.
A traditional Mayan super-food, chaay is very similar to kale.
What happens when I try to make a tortilla. At least I ended up with a good chip!
What happens when I try to make a tortilla. At least I ended up with a good chip!
Unearthing the chicken pibil.
Unearthing the chicken pibil.
The chicken pibil. I helped make the onion sauce!
The chicken pibil. I helped make the onion sauce!

Today, I deviated from the schedule a little bit, and had Mayan class in the evening, instead of the morning as usual. Instead, I visited the Sijil Noh Ha lagoon. While there, I kayaked, snorkled, swam, and climbed a tower to catch an incredible view of the Yucatan jungle and the still water below me. What I found really interesting was the presence of an immensely deep hole, or cenote, right in the middle of the 6 or 7 foot deep lagoon. No monsters down there, however, to my disappointment.

The Sijil Noh Ha lagoon.
The Sijil Noh Ha lagoon.

After visiting the lagoon I returned to Mayan class to learn more grammar, specifically rules regarding negation and adverbs of place and time, and also how tonal changes affect the meaning of a sentence. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks for reading! My next update will be on Friday night. It will be a bittersweet one, as that is when I will be leaving my host family for the final time. It’s been a great trip so far and I honestly cannot believe how fast these last few weeks have flown by. Until then!

Bliss

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Uh-May God! Visits to a Traditional Maya Village and the Sijil Noh Ha Lagoon to Begin the Week

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