(click on photos to enlarge)
Dear Friends of the Maya,
I arrived in Mexico just a week ago. I realized this morning that my “Maya Monthly” is going to be overdue soon, so I had better send an update on what’s happening….
Fiesta! They wanted me to join in the Jarrana, but I wasn’t dressed for the part!
Some of you know that I celebrated my 75th Birthday a few days ago. I have been celebrating for several weeks in the States with friends and my twin sister, Mary K. Because have shared the last 30 years of my life with the people here in the Yucatan I wanted to do some celebrating here as well. Besides it is hard to get tres leches (a special delicious cake made with three different types of milk) in the States, so I needed to celebrate here. I wasn’t disappointed but little did I know it might be my last celebration.
Last Sunday I headed to the Gulf to go swimming. As I was getting out of the water, I got bit by a vagre
That’s a cat fish in US terms, but it is poisonous here. The blood began to flow and didn’t stop. The pain started in my foot and was rising quickly. I had experienced this bite a couple of years ago and knew the remedy. Let the blood flow. It is poisonous and has to get out of the system. Then wash the area – with vinagre or (get this!) urine! They have something to do with neutralizing the poison. I didn’t have any vinegar at hand so guess what? I made a quick decision. Wine might just do the trick I am still living.
I think I will call this year: “CELEBRATING 75 YEARS CON GUSTO!”. That means “really” celebrating. I admit there might be a little less energy, but I look forward to continuing with even more conviction. I am convinced we are doing a lot of good work …. thanks to you and the team here.
Over the summer we have been able to restructure our program of giving scholarships to young people. In the past one of our team members met with these young people once a month or so. Now we have someone in each of the six villages where youth receive scholarships. That person meets with the young people every week to make sure they are doing well in school and also contributing to the ongoing growth of their village through their service work. I met with some of these young people last week. In the village of Noc-ac we have l6 youth receiving scholarships. Most of them leave home about 6 in the morning and often don’t get back until late at night. Their schools are several miles away. Our scholarship hardly covers their transportation. So we are going to increase the scholarship- thanks to you. They are going to commit themselves to more service in their community. To be honest, some of the kids were accepting scholarships without studying…others were not doing well in their studies and didn’t tell us. Others were not helping their community. Nada Mas.
I stopped in Cosgaya “to check things out.” I had heard numbers had dropped in our “assesoria” program. That program is meant to help kids get through grade school. Many don’t know how to read, or write, or even speak Spanish well when they begin their education. Mauru, our leader there, made a commitment to visit the families and encourage more to participate. When I arrived, the place was jammed, I mean jammed with kids.
I want to make this clear. I do not run these programs. We have trained, experienced people, who know how to do this. We have a team which supervises the program in each village. I am the old man who stops by and makes some suggestions. Some would say I am the espie and griton. (spy and shouter). I try to be a good spy, and I shout a lot less these days than when I knew most of you. I also leave smiling with the assurance that together we are making this world a better place. Gracias.
Paz y amor,