I find myself mesmerized by the process as each step is carefully, yet quickly, completed. Noticing the bare hands, I wonder how many burns occur during a typical work week. I know I would need a first aid kit within close proximity.
Because of your smile you make life more beautiful. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
While dining at a restaurant near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, this friendly gentleman (Pictured on the left in the photo) and his wife were seated at the table next to us.
Being naturally curious we ask, “Where are you from?”
Our Minnesota Nice reflex kicks in and we begin to chat, noticing their accents do not sound like your typical Canadian.
I can’t resist… “Have you always lived in Canada?” Thus, begins their interesting tale…
Following the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the family business was taken away by the Communists and father/son were both thrown in prison. His father spent seven years in prison… Wow.
Fortunately, his sister was able to flee in a boat eventually relocating in Canada. Years later, she sponsored him, his wife and two daughters creating an opportunity for a new life in Canada. At age forty they found themselves starting over in a new country learning to understand its culture and language. As a welder and chef, they work extremely hard to make the best of their new lives, allowing them to not only survive, but also thrive. Infectious smiles along with a “glass half full” outlook on life touched our hearts. At age seventy they are still employed and have no desire to retire as long as health allows.
Growing up watching the Vietnam War on the nightly news sparked a fascination with this country and its culture. Being curious and reaching out makes history come alive and I walk away truly inspired.
Upon reading the translation of the Mayan Prayer to the Seven Directions, I sense gratitude and hope. (Click on link for full prayer)*Excerpts from the prayer: May wisdom be transformed into right action… bless us with harmonies to end all war… all hail the harmony of mind and nature. I may have a different belief system and pray to a different God than the Ancient Mayans, but I also find their prayer timeless in an earthly sense. Peace out.
*Prayer of the Seven Directions from thejewelledsky.com
Imagine walking the same jungle paths as ancient Mayans living between 300 to 900 A.D.
Archeologists have estimated that 6,000 structures exist here at Coba, but only three settlements are for public viewing. Coba is not a single site, but a large group of sites connected to the central pyramid, connected by over 16 Mayan ceremonial “white roads.”Don’t feel like walking? Take a Mayan Limo, which is a chauffeured tricycle, or rent a bicycle. Plan on 2 1/2 hours if you walk or 1 1/2 hours if opting for wheels.The largest pyramid at Coba is called Ixmoja, part of the Nohoch Mul group of buildings. Unlike other Mayan ruins, you can still climb this one. I’m not fond of heights and this pyramid is 42 meters (138 feet) tall, but I need to do this so I have no regrets.From the top the lush jungle looks like a green wilderness of wonder, but this gentleman meditating probably has his eyes shut. Good thing, since he is right at the edge. Not me!!This thick rope is my best friend as I inch my way down the 120 stone steps of the pyramid finding the descent much more difficult than the ascent.
We were part of a van tour group, which restricts the amount of time allowed. If I did it again, I’d look into another transportation option to allow more time at the ruin site. Or, maybe I need more friends along so we could put together our own DIY tour. Hmmm…
As usual, souvenir shops are situated by the entrance/exit gate.…and dogs wander the streets.
For more information about exploring Riviera Maya destinations check out locogringo.com.
Here is a link to an interesting blog post I found within the locogringo.com site: 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Riviera Maya Vacation.
The history and legacy of the Mayan people also appear to be fleeting as tourism and beaches are the key to survival. It is well worth the time to tour the historic sites of Tulum and Chichen Itza with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about their interesting past. The history of the Mayan people is kept alive through archeological sites such as these.
Click on image for a larger viewing window.
Go ahead and show your “true” colors!