On Monday morning we were once again up bright and early. Valladolid may be on Central Time, but the McFarlands are all still very much on Eastern Daylight Time. Not to mention the fact that Jack and Jason have spent the last 9 months getting up at 5:30 AM. (Jack’s mother is sadly a much less dedicated parent and has not been getting up at 5:30 AM even though she loves him very, very much!)
Monday was our day to explore the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza.
An early start worked very much in our favor. The day was sunny and the projected high temperature was going to be in the upper 90’s. Chichen Itza offers very little shade to protect (delicate, wimpy) Lutheran pastors from Louisville from the scorching sun.
We arrived at Chichen Itza by colectivo which is a shared van. Almost everyone else riding with us was headed to Chichen Itza to work for the day. I cannot imagine doing physical labor in this heat! I just about melted into a puddle from carrying William for half a mile.
Charlie Boston told us that we would be impressed by Chichen Itza and he was right. It is an amazingly impressive archeological site. And it is popular – there were people everywhere speaking every language under the sun – or so it seemed to me. It was like a Tower of Babel moment.
We had a truly wonderful, engaging guide named Arturo who was particularly great with William. He was full of cool facts and fun information and our 2 hour tour just flew by. I am pretty sure that I spent more than half of our tour saying not so brilliant things like “wow” – “cool” – and “amazing,” and I may have spent the other half with my mouth hanging ajar in awe.
You hear a lot about how brilliant the ancient Maya were with astronomy and the calendar, but they absolutely rocked at acoustics too. In the ball field if you clap your hands you hear 8 echoes. If you clap your hands standing near the central acropolis the echo actually sounds like a bird singing! Like I said – wow! Modern day church architects could take a lesson from the ancient Maya on acoustics.
When Arturo learned that William was born on December 21, 2012 – last day of the Maya calendar – he informed William that he probably would have been chosen to be sacrificed to the Maya gods. The look on WIll’s face was absolutely priceless, because we had already seen depictions of several headless warriors, ball players, and men who had been offered as sacrifices. William does not think that he would like to have been sacrificed to the Maya gods.
William loved seeing the carved snakes and was intrigued by the El Caracol which is an ancient planetarium not unlike the one our family visits at the University of Louisville almost every single weekend.
We are all having a wonderful time and are learning so much.