i had so many unique experiences last weekend during my time in tinum [pronounced tee-noom], and while i want so badly to document it, i seem to be having a hard time organizing my thoughts and finding the best approach. study abroad alumni warned us that it would be tricky relaying our stories and thoughts to others, and while i poo-pooed it at the time, i now realize they were all too right. so hang in there with me while i find my "flow." ;)
we were hosted by the kindest couple who split their time between pella and tinum [he used to be a professor at central college and fell in love with the yucatan when he professed abroad]. they took three days to show us the town and set us up with host families in whose homes we stayed and ate meals.
on the afternoon of our arrival, we had a mini-orientation session and were quickly divided off with our roommates and sent walking down bumpy, dusty roads to find our host home. after meeting with our families and getting situated, we had our first meal [pink pasta noodles soaked in broth topped with chicken] and siesta.
>> the food is all very yucatecan/mayan, and therefore delicious. i could not get enough of it! [except i was a little unsure about the breakfasts... one was tomato-sauced cheese enchiladas, the other was an eggy-tomato paste? i am unfortunately neither a breakfast nor tomato person, but i tried them nonetheless! points for bravery]. the food was all one-hundred percent homegrown and homemade - right down to the tortillas we ate with every meal. the woman of the home spends hours of her day preparing her family's meals, and it shows. i felt so refreshed after eating something that hadn't been fried, microwaved, or pulled from a freezer. we drank either horchata, orange juice, or watermelon juice. i'd never tried watermelon juice before [or really even heard of it, for that matter] and it was so sweet and light, perfect for a blazing hot degree afternoon.
after our siesta [we really did nap. :) it was a gooden' too!] we went on a walk to explore the town. how 'bout we scroll on down for a virtual tour?
>> the saddest of town signs.
>> a church and the surrounding stores along its patio.
>> the cemetary. mexicans believe that death should be celebrated like life -- during their dia de los muertos [day of the dead] festivities, they decorate the altars in remembrance and celebration of the lives of their loved ones.
>> the local "town hall"
>> the town square
>> on our way to the bakery to purchase what was about to be the most tasty, melt-in-your-mouth pan dulce there ever was.
the rest of friday evening was dedicated to spending time with our host families. i'll do a more detailed post on them soon, but our host mother's grandbabies lived with her, and needless to say, the little three-year-old granddaughter, named haidi, quickly became our best friends, or her "amigas gringas" as she so proudly referred to us. friday night was spent making paper "crafts" [wadding little papers into balls and throwing them around the room?], singing ring-around-the-rosy so many times i got dizzy [otra vez? otra vez!? haidi would chant through a fit of giggles after each round], taking a bucket bath, and talking with our señor about work and lifestyle in a small mayan village.
my roommate and i called it a night fairly early, and we climbed into our hammocks and quickly swung ourselves to sleep.
stay tuned for parte dos of my time in tinum.