Living in Xkalax 3


We woke up early today and continued weaving right after breakfast.  We really want to get it over with. It’s been 9 days now, much longer than we originally expected it to be. In the morning Nadya wanted to take some pictures of the whole family.

The Poot family and Nadya in their celebratory dress

The ladies grabbed this opportunity and dressed her up in their celebratory dress. The closthes are not much of a design but the embroidery is fantastic. We asked Doña Modesta how long it took her to make it. The reply was 3 full months. Wow. That’s a lot of work for one dress. We took several pictures but the father was missing ‘cause the was in Tizimin doing some shopping. In the afternoon they invited Nadya to help them prepare some tamales.

making tamales

I’d helped them to cut off a few banana leaves. It took them about 4 hours. In the meantime, I was working on our hammock. When they finished and had them all wrapped in the banana leaves, they put them in a hole outside their house with hot ashes underneath.

Tamales are ready to be smoked

Finally, it was covered with a huge flat piece of metal. We had to wait for at least an hour, I guess more. Few hours after that Angel come over to our house to tell me that I should go over to their house and light  a candle for my granddad. I had told them about him on the 1stNovember, the day of the dead. It´s been a while since he passed away. I don´t think about him as often as I should but I do miss him a lot. I´d love to talk to him and tell him all about me and think him for the way he brought me up and for who I am now. In my family, they say I´ve got a lot from him. I´m not sure whether that´s good or bad but I´m glad that he at least partly lives on through me. Hope he´s been watching me all this time and he knows all that is going on around here. I did go over and lit a candle. A bit later they lit 3 more for their deceased, I suppose. This was the sign that we could start eating. All the men did so with great appetite while the women were praying in the room with the candles.

tamales are ready to be wrapped in a banana leaf

Yeah, they put a piece of habañeros in each of the tamales and I must have picked the one with the most spicy bit ‘cause for a while I could barely breath, that’s how hot it was. I had a few more but none of them was anywhere near the one that almost killed me. J

In the evening, I had a brilliant idea. J I climbed onto the roof of our house and I got a really good signal on our digital short wave radio. I listened to the world news in Russian and then also in English. I sat up there for almost an hour. It was great to hear what’s going on in the world, even though there’s very little positive news these days.  I spent most of the day standing weaving the hammock and towards the evening my legs were killing me. I can’t wait till we finish it and I’m gonna have the first swing in it. It’s almost 9 and Nadya is still weaving.

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