So, after being in the highlands of Guatemala for about two weeks with the fresh weather and nice breezes, we flew down the mountains to the lowland flats. The heat was real, and when we went on our excursions through the jungle and up the pyramids, we wore long-sleeves and pants to prevent the bugs from getting us. Not a problem, just a lot of sweat. In Belize, one of our plans was to head toward Lamanai to see the ruins. It required us to take a 2-hour boat ride through the long, slithery New River. The lovely guide new a lot of the local wildlife, stopping to explain to us about some of the animals we passed. He drove extra fast; the water was so smooth and the boat cut through all the turns, drifting as if in a Fast + Furious film. I had a blast, some others… I don’t know.
This was the last Maya site of the trip, so I made sure to take advantage of it and climb everything I could. It was quite hard to process a lot of what we were standing over, even after all the amount of reading and interactions we’ve had with the land. Grasping even a little of it was tough. On the bright side, I learned how to crack tree nuts and extract palm oil, thanks to the help of one of the local guides. His mom often did this at home. Don’t use limestone, use harder rocks. There is only limestone on the top of the pyramids, since that’s what they are made of. I learned the hard way and had to make a trip from the top to the bottom and back up, in order to say that I cracked a few at the top of a pyramid.
We left soon after, riding around in the boat again. I got all cleaned up from the sweat I gathered running up and down in the humid heat in long-sleeved clothing. I changed for a nice dinner on the lake and I got to experience the best sunset of my life. The ride was calm and full of laughs with the friends I had made. I sat on the edge of the boat and put my hand in the water.
Our professors and the guide let us soak it all in, the sun slowly moving down and its glow grew more orange over time. The city was called Orange Walk, which was a nice correlation. Things had moved so fast before and now we just swayed. For the first time, it felt like the trip was coming to an end and the pace slowed down. We then left for the island and finalized our research. The motto of the island, “Go Slow”. And so we did, and the sun set, and it all ended.
This post was contributed by Andres Garza.
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