On Friday, June 29th we returned to Valladolid just in time for the entire McFarland family to be taken out by a cruel, mean-spirited virus who hated us all quite passionately.  We spent the weekend resting and feeling sorry for ourselves, but by the beginning of the week we were gradually returning to the land of the living.

William – the only McFarland family extrovert – has been missing his friends quite badly during our adventures in Mexico.  Will has tried on several occasions to make friends with local children in parks, but after a few minutes the language barrier has proven to be just too much and the attempts at forging new friendships have ended in frustration. 

Thankfully our friend and Valladolid mentor offered us a wonderful solution in the form of a bi-lingual pre-school right down the street from his home where we are staying. 

On Monday after breakfast Jason and William set off for the bi-lingual pre-school and when we picked William up 4 1/2 hours later he was exhausted from making crafts, making friends, running around in the park, and he loudly told his teacher that he would see her “manana.” 

By Tuesday William had a new friend who walked him to the gate each day and his teacher assured us that he was indeed having a wonderful time laughing, singing, and playing with his Valladolid friends. 

This experience was perfect for William.  He got to be with children his own age, he made new friends, and he got a break from all of the grown-ups he has been surrounded by for weeks now.  It was wonderful to see William spreading his own little wings, and to hear him picking up a few words of Spanish too! 

On Monday and Tuesday while William was at school Jason and I rested and waited for our immune systems to finish destroying the invading army of viruses that had so rudely attacked. 

By Wednesday we were ready to head out to continue exploring Valladolid.  We chose to head to Xkopek which is a local bee farm, part of which is located in a dry cenote. 

Jack chose to stay behind.  (I can’t imagine why an almost 15 year old would skip an outing to a bee farm!)

We learned all about the native Maya bees which are stingless!  Seriously – stingless bees – how cool is that! 

Maya bees make their hives in logs in the wild which made me think of all of those times I read about Winnie the Pooh stealing honey out of logs.

We even got to see inside of a hive.

It was really crazy to see dozens and dozens of bees buzzing around my head.  We couldn’t take any pictures of that, because our hosts didn’t want us to make their bees nervous – lol.

Another fun part of the tour was the tasting at the end.  I really enjoyed trying the different honeys, but the coolest thing we ate was a spoonful of pollen.  It was surprisingly yummy.

“My child, eat honey, for it is good,

    and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.

Know that wisdom is such to your soul;

    if you find it, you will find a future,

    and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 24:13-14

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