Monday, July 09, 2007

A Day Two Years in the Making

Today field work officially began at Xtobo. It’s been two years now since the end of the last field season, and nothing could have felt better than to begin working again. Although the site has endured the torments of 2500 years, in my comparatively short time working at the site I can see it dissolving bit by bit each year. I hope to save the information about these pioneers before it disappears for ever. The more I can do each given year the better.

The workers from Ucu were fantastic. They cleared more distance on the new trail system that I had expected they would. And things always go more slowly on the first day, we can only go up from here. The current roster of workers is on average older than my last crew. As such they are far more prone to speaking Maya. Of the five of them, four definitely prefer to speak in Maya, as such something tells me my Maya will be getting better this year. If anyone needs some help with translation just let me know!

I’m not sure if I can really relay the sense of excitement that I have had all day. The forest surrounding the site is usually described in rather harsh terms. Every plant has its own form of thorns. Some are down right toxic. There is also a plentiful supply of biting insects. And of course the temperature was easily pushing 100 degrees. Despite it all, everything I see before me is beautiful. The contrasting shade and sun, the vibrant growth, and even the thriving tick population all stir some emotions. Maybe after five months of hard fought days my opinion will change to some extent. But I know that ever time I return to Xtobo, she will always be more beautiful.

And a few photos to share:


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