Day 6: Laptops & Mayan Ceremonies

                Today was another early morning. We all got up to cold showers and home-cooked meals. The meeting place was the city center park. Once we had all assembled in the warm and windy weather we walked across town to a large building that was both a house and a center for Mayan practice. The menu for today included a Mayan ceremony in the morning that would focus on our inner character and the necessity of thankfulness. This ceremony would be followed by our first day in the school. The ceremony was focused on fire. As we walked into the lush green yard facing the lake the only centerpiece was a small foundation for a fire, a circle of spherical coals covered in multicolored candles. As we started the ceremony we were all handed a blue candle, a white candle, and a personalized necklace corresponding to our birthday on the Mayan calendar (similar to a horoscope). First we all closed our eyes as the fire was lit and meditated for a solid and indistinguishable amount of time on our luck, our thankfulness, and the earth and sky mothers. Following this session we one by one were told to stand up and place our blue candles in the flame to burn. The smell of heated and melting wax mixed with the smells of other spices and items placed in the fire created a smell I had never sensed before. Directly after we were called up in pairs or solo, depending on whether you shared a horoscope-thing, to be told what the Mayan gods had bestowed upon you and to be told what kind of person you are, and to be told to place your white candle in the fire. Some examples of this include: Justin being given the bunny as the animal, creativity (?), and plant growing as a trait; Sylvia and Reed being given the woodpecker as the animal, persistence, and knowledge/intelligence as the trait. After the Mayan ceremony we rested until our session of school started. Once we arrived at the school we started to set up the laptops and check to make sure the software was all working. After setting them up we were told to move the laptops upstairs to a larger and more suited room. Once we had set up and organized the power cables and laptops we were again told to move them, this time to the office for the night as the previous room was no secure enough. On our first day we really reached new heights in direct involvement on the trip. Once 6:00 hit and our time at the school ended the team splinted back to homestays and social groups, knowing we would be up early tomorrow morning as well.

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