Monday, February 20, 2012

First week at Tumul K'in!

So here we are having survived our first week in Belize! Its been an absolute blast and a whirlwind tour. Breaking it up into categories will probably be the best way to power through it:

Living at the school:

Life at Tumul K’in has been an absolute blast. We’re staying in a beat up, but spunky, house right on the edge of the rainforest. At night we can here the howler monkeys in the upper canopies near bye. There have also been a lot of bugs including scorpions in the fridge, tarantulas in the shower, and tons of little geckos on our windows. The geckos are actually one of the loudest creatures around and keep us up at night sometimes. During the days we have been helping teach Claire’s maya archaeology class. Last week we worked on transect surveys and marched the students across campus with pinflags. When the little maya students got to the jungle, instead of walking around as instructed they grabbed their machetes ( as big as they are) and chopped through the bush! For food we’ve mostly been cooking for ourselves. Eggs, beans, rice, a grand amount of habaneros, and the occasional fried chicken. We’ve also been eating with the students who cook their own meal over a traditional clay oven in a thatched hut. Their food is corn-everything, including drinks!

Archaeology work:

So far our archaeology work has consisted of us reinvestigating some sites that Claire recorded during a survey last summer. Every morning we wake up at 5.30, drive to the village of Aguacate, pick up our workers for the day, and head into the jungle. The fainforest near the Guatemalan border where we work is THICK. It is very difficult to see archaeology but we have been to identify structures that basically look like hills. So far we have been to 5 Classic maya sites and discovered a new one. Once identified, the next step is clearing the entire site with machetes, and then mapping it in with a total station to create a digital 3-d image. One of the structures we uncovered last week is much larger than previously thought and may prove to be a very interesting site. We’ll see! This week is more survey, clearing, and mapping. The digging won’t start for another month or so.

The daily commute

Surveying is thick here!

Walking in transects with the students

Welcome to Tumul K'in

The swimming hole


This weekend we decided to get out of dodge and have some beachside fun. We left Tumul K’in and drove an hour to Mango Grove, where we hopped in the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi to Placencia. We stayed at a hotel right on the Caribbean that had a great bar, wonderful food, hammocks practically on the water, and warm water in the showers! Placencia is famous for its expat population, which means lots of fantastic food including gelato, Italian food, and some awesome burgers. After a few days of splurging and enjoying rum drinks at the barefoot bar, its time to start work again in the jungle. Stay tuned! 

Lubantuun near Punta Gorda (not one of ours)

Driving back towards Punta Gorda

1 comment:

  1. Matt! Just found your blog on your fb page and am stoked to follow your adventures. How cool! I hope you are doing well. Photos are fantastic! Will track you down when this Watson fun is over. Peace! Sara