My Time in Tinum: parte dos

so where were we? ah yes, i had just slipped into a deep sleep after our first big day in tinum. that peaceful slumber of mine didn't last long, however, for i was easily awoken throughout the night by some of the strangest of noises. before we get into it, let me set the scene.
>> the home i stayed in in tinum. this is the living room slash bedroom, as you can see - my roommate slept in the yellow/rainbow hammock closest, i was in the middle brown/purple hammock, and great grandma estelle slept in the rainbow hammock in the far back. the front door was behind me and to my left along the wall. there was a bedroom through the first doorway on the left (blue) and the second opening was home of the refrigerator and water hole. through the brown door along the back wall was the dining room table, and all of the food was cooked on a fire in a small hut in the backyard.

and now! the scene has been set. let the story commence!

so we're sleeping, right? and, while i must add, there's something a little comforting about being nearly surrounded by everyone in the house at night time (and i'm sure it'd be even more so if you weren't complete strangers?), but being so close that you can practically hear one another breathing also means you can hear everything else that goes on throughout the night. baby crying. dog barking. loud music from downtown. baby is crying again. rooster is crowing (and isn't that supposed to only be during sunrise? i kid you not this rooster bellered out all night long). someone just walked by my hammock.. don't make things awkward by looking, just pretend to still be asleep. great grandma estelle is sniffling. now she's coughing. she's coughing quite forcefully. oh my. wait. did she just..? oh. my. word. get me out of here.

and in my wide-awake-why-can't-i-fall-back-asleep? state i hear ggma estelle do such a loud loogie-hacking throat clear my hammock quivered a little, and suddenly, she's rolling over in her hammock and i hear her make a little "puh" sound and without missing a beat that loogie hits the ground with a splat. my eyes shot open, my throat clenched up and gagged a little, and i quickly rolled around trying to jam my ears full of sound proof barriers only to find that the strings of a hammock do not, in any way, muffle sound. and then i laid there patiently (my face pointing away from ggma's hammock since we were close enough i could reach out and pet her) waiting for the sun to rise with ggma's congested hacking and spatting filling the silence in the background.

i have never been so anxious for morning time. i also have never dreaded going to bed more than i did the next evening.

saturday was spent learning about mayan agriculture, which i plan to dedicate a separate post to (you can't wait, i know!) so now we shall discuss mayan lifestyle!

>> this is a beefy post, so i put in a jump. please click below to read more!

the homes are very simple yet rather roomy. they're typically made of concrete (some in tinum were even constructed from bamboo and thin tree trunks and tree brush for roofs) and have no air conditioning, fans, or really even any "stuff." most of our homes had a little tv that was constantly playing uber-corny spanish soap operas or the miley cyrus movie with sad voice-dubs.
my host home
the home across the street
family is extremely important in the mayan culture, and they make it a priority to stay together and take care of extended family for as long as possible. for example, living in our home was the woman of the house, doña rebecca and her husband señor (i never actually got his name, so señor he was!). their daughter nelli and her husband, misael, lived in the home too, where they raised their daughters haidi, who was three, and lilliana, two months old. great grandma estelle (who only spoke mayan), señor's mother, also lived with them, completing the household. 

señor and misael both work extremely hard to provide for their family. misael works for coca (cola, i believe?) and señor works multiple jobs - he's a pastor, works construction (or maybe he worked construction..?? i was having a difficult time following) and also tends to their family's milpa, or cornfield. doña rebecca and nelli spent most of their waking hours preparing meals for the family. in their spare time, the women (including ggma estelle) make hammocks and other handcrafted items to sell. 

in the evenings after dinner we each took a bucket bath. many homes in tinum have shower heads but rarely use them because they don't get hot water. instead, they heat a bucket of water on the fire (grey bucket pictured below) and combine it with cold water into the green bucket, and use the red ladle to pour water on themselves and bathe. i was really anxious to take a bucket bath. i'd heard it was an amazingly refreshing experience and wanted to see for myself. i do have to admit, the water felt wonderful, and i hardly had to use any to feel clean and rejuvenated. however, i forgot soap, and also didn't shave (and  remember i am an EVERY DAY SHAVER) so i'll be honest when i tell you the first thing i did after returning was take a nice warm shower. and i enjoyed every last bit of it.
our bathroom and showering station -- there was a sink, just not pictured! ;) and yes, the toilet, without a seat, that you don't flush unless you go #2. and when you do go #2 and proudly press down the handle (it's like finally getting to press that big, red, DO NOT PRESS button!), nothing happens. at all. and then you press and press and press in a panic and the water just sits still. and you kinda look around the bathroom desperately like the buckets are going to give you some kind of advice. but they don't. and eventually you just sneak away and pretend like you were never there. or so i've heard? i wouldn't know from experience.
my roommate and i spent the majority of our time playing with our new best friend, haidi. she was just the sweetest thing. she talked a mile a minute, got a kick out of imitating my laugh, held our hands everywhere we went (i even got to accompany her to the bathroom - several times! she reminded me that when she is big like me she won't need help in there), and loved to use her imagination.
johnna, haidi, and i in the "kitchen" outside
our belongings were camped out in the living room, so there was really no way for us to hide and be anti-social, but our host parents pretty much let us do our own thing. looking back, i'm kicking myself for not just boldly following them around and asking questions and sharing things with them about ourselves, whether they wanted to hear it or not! we talked some during meals, but i wish we would have been able to bond and get a better insight.
haidi, baby lilliana, and me
me and the babes with my host mother, doña rebecca
i feel very fortunate to have had such a warm and welcoming host family in tinum. i love that in just two days i was able to learn and live out a whole different cultural lifestyle. it has absolutely made me reevaluate my own personal priorities and realize the few things that are truly necessary and important in life.

to read parte uno, click here.

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