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
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.
The run-down streets portray struggle, while the earth can feel the pulse of a proud ancestry.
HDR image of a neighborhood street in Playa del Carmen, Mexico blended with an image of a costumed Mayan gentleman taken at the Chichen Itza archeological site. Blended image layer transformed to appear to be part of the earth. Click on image for a larger viewing window.
Life can be harsh for the disabled begging on the church steps of the Cathedral de San Gervasio in Valladolid, Mexico. This is the real deal and not a scam as the locals also give money to these individuals according to Mark Moxon’s Travel Writing.
By the grace of God…