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Digging in Belize

May 12, 2010

I arrived in Belize on Mother’s Day, after an exhausting series of flights from Honolulu to San Francisco, to Houston, to Belize City, then on a small plane to Punta Gorda. I got situated in the little cottage I’m renting, then had a wonderful dinner with the crew, cooked by the daughter of our landlord. I started work bright and early the next day, excavating a Mayan tomb complex and immediately smashed my thumb, breaking my nail in half. It was an awesome day nonetheless; the site is near a Mayan village, with thatched houses, pigs, horses, chickens, and happy children running around, all in the midst of a deep green jungle, plots of it on fire for slash and burn farming.

The last two days I’ve been working at a different site in the mountains, which requires a one hour hike to get to. We’ve compared the hike to working out on a stairmaster in a sauna. I love it anyway, there are leaf cutter ants that are so cool, and butterflies of brilliant yellow and dazzling blue. My unit up in the mountains hasn’t produced much except lots of big, fat bugs and a scorpion. I did get a couple pieces of pottery, including some rim sherds. The two workers assigned to my unit are both named Santiago and I have to say they are faster excavators than me. I asked the Santiagos what kind of scorpion it is that I found, and they replied "the bad kind." I guess that's all I need to know. Today at the tomb complex they’ve uncovered the first non-looted tomb in the area and have posted guards there for tonight. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and am so excited to visit Tikal this weekend.
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