RDP: Panoply of Animals

I didn’t set out to collect little animals, but in truth I love collecting little things from different cultures, and animals are universally loved. I have collected small animal figures from Mexico, Brazil, Tanzania and others that I have either acquired or inherited.

I tried to fit most of them on one shelf for this photo.
20180923_153317_001Behind this animal panoply are portraits of my parents (in the middle – the woman with the pink hat and scarf is my mother, and next to her is my father), Dale’s parents (black & white photo on the right) and my great-grandparents in back on the left.

The animals include alebrijes (whimsical,colorful animal carvings from copal wood in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico); several ceramic birds as well as a small snail, mostly from Mexico; and black clay animals (including an armadillo, two birds, and a turtle) all of which are whistles, also made in Mexico by an elderly potter in the late 1960s who claimed to be the daughter of a Mexican mestiza woman and a French soldier – she had blue eyes.

On the left, in front of the portraits of my great-grandparents, is a fish made out of a gourd. I bought this in northeastern Brazil. It was made by an indigenous artist from the Amazon region.

The birds mounted on wood in the front at left (a loon and two other birds) are ceramic and were inherited from my mother. At right, a rather fearsome beaded animal is a lion, made by Maasai women in Tanzania. Next to the lion are two small turtles, part of a turtle collection that belonged to a woman from my church who died and asked that at her memorial service, the attendees should select one or two from her collection as a remembrance of her.

Next to the lion, a strange sort of dragon-looking green ceramic creature with horns, long fangs and white spikes along its back is a hodag. This legendary animal originated among the lumberjacks of northern Wisconsin, and it became the official symbol of the town of Rhinelander. The story goes that some of the seasoned lumberjacks built a hodag out of some realistic-looking material which resembled a reptile, and somehow rigged it to move its tail and eyes. They placed it in the woods to be “discovered” by the newbie lumberjacks, and according to the story, it worked! The rookies were scared of this animal they had never heard of before, at least at first.
As they looked more closely at it, they realized it was fake, but the legend stuck and the hodag became famous in those parts. My family home had several hodags – either ceramic or stuffed. My mother had spent part of her girlhood in Rhinelander!


This hodag greets visitors to Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

My most recent acquisition is a green, white and red striped snake, coiled in front of my mother’s portrait. I bought it yesterday at a Craft Fair hosted annually at my church. The sculptor, a young, rather shy man named David, had a display of lots of his fanciful clay animals, many with two heads! I asked if he let them harden naturally or fire them in a kiln. He said he bakes them in his oven!

These are the stories of my panoply of animals. I probably will continue to add to it as I find others that strike my fancy!



Music All Over the World

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge this week is to show “live music.” Music is a very important part of my life. I love all types of music and am especially fascinated by “world” music – music from different countries and cultures.

Our favorite orchestra in the Chicago area is Chicago Sinfonietta. Every concert they play is unique and inclusive. They specialize in diversity, in honor of the founder of the orchestra, Paul Freedman, an African-American conductor and classical musician. They focus on a theme for each concert which includes performers from different genres and cultural groups. In this photo of their May 2018 concert, they invited a well-known professional gospel choir to perform with them.20180512_195835
Last November, they had a Day of the Dead themed concert, which included such works as Mozart’s Requiem, including a choir from Roosevelt University that wore skeleton costumes and masks during the performance. During the intermission, there were cultural dances and music from Mexico.
Music evokes such emotion and nostalgia in me. When we took a cruise to the Panama Canal in March-April 2017, we stopped at a small port in Chiapas, Mexico, where some of us took an excursion to Tuxtla Chico (I have blogged about this), a charming small town where music and dances were performed for us. Within a short time, I didn’t want to leave – all my emotions associated with past trips to Mexico were brought to the surface by the cultural atmosphere and the typical music. Here some women dressed in beautiful flowered dresses danced to music played by a marimba band.

Back on the cruise ship, some Mexican performers came aboard for a couple of days and performed for us by the Lido pool. This included a male singer and a couple of dancers, who performed dances from different regions of Mexico.


Steel pan music was also a feature of that cruise when we passed through the Caribbean, and Chicago Sinfonietta later that year featured steel pan music in one of their concerts. Here my husband Dale samples playing a steel pan, supervised by a professional steel pan player, leader of a steel pan band from Northern Illinois University, before the concert. NIU is possibly the only university in the country where music majors can specialize in steel pan music.20170916_185949.jpgI could continue with more examples of the music in my life, but this would become a very long post! So I’ll end with some “batucada” (percussion) from Flamengo Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (recorded in November 2016).









CB&WPC: Hickory Dickory Dock…

…the mouse ran up the clock!  The theme for Cee’s B&W photo challenge this week is words ending in -ock.  These are “-ocks” from my travel over the last two years.


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Flower clock in the historic district of Curitiba, PR, Brazil, Nov. 2016



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Gatun Locks, Panama Canal (March 2017)



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Rocks at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (April 2017)



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Newly united in wedlock:  Allie Lovejoy & Alex Wooden, Woodbury, MN  (May 20, 2017)



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Dale prepares to go fishing, dock at Blacks Cliff Resort, Lower Kaubashine Lake, WI (July 2017)



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The Holy Family overwhelmed by a huge flock of sheep! Nativity scene, Our Lord in the Attic Church, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Jan. 2018)


And now, a rock hit from 2018: Guns ‘n Roses, Sweet Child of Mine. (Also in B&W!)














Cee’s SYW: on travel, tolerance, nature, and cheating

Cee’s questions this week in her Share Your World challenge were inspiring to me, so I am participating (and wish I did more often, because her questions are often thought-provoking and leading to revealing something of ourselves). If you haven’t Shared Your World, head over to the link above and write something about yourself!

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?
In fact, I have done this – well, a long time ago. I was in junior high and had been taken out of school to take a trip to the eastern USA with my parents. I didn’t do much of my homework while I was away (except Spanish, because that was my favorite subject), so when I got back, I wasn’t prepared for the test on the book we were supposed to have finished for English class. cheating

Also in junior high, I cheated on a science test by looking at my neighbor’s paper, mainly because I simply didn’t understand the concepts.CHEATING-IN-SCHOOL

However, this is not something I would do nowadays and I never did it again from high school on!

What things in nature do you find most beautiful?
Nearly everything…brilliant sunsets, the colors of autumn, flowers, and watching nature unfold – there is nothing more exciting than in the spring seeing the plants push up from underground, and transform into snowdrop flowers, daffodils or tulips.

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to….see as much as possible! Photograph everything – I love to be able to wander around freely to take pictures. I also love interacting with local people and learning about their culture and their lives.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I read a short column in Time magazine by Dan Rather, in which he says it’s good to have tolerance, but that is not enough. Tolerance doesn’t require true interaction with others who are different from ourselves, we just have to accept them. tolerance means
Tolerance and segregation can live side by side. Tolerance doesn’t require any work on either side’s part to discuss those issues that separate us. From tolerance, we need to move toward inclusion. Inclusion requires interaction and dialogue with others, not just acceptance. Inclusion means we are not afraid to have a debate with people who think differently from ourselves.inclusion.png


FOTD: Colorful and bright in Todos Santos

In Mexico, and in many places in Latin America, the thing that strikes me is COLOR. The buildings are painted bright colors, colorful murals cover many walls, and bright colored flowers adorn windows, sidewalks and gardens. These bright, colorful flowers growing alongside a wall in Todos Santos, Mexico, were the perfect complement to the bright colors of the buildings, signs, and artwork that I saw there.


Cee’s Flower of the Day, 10/11/17

Todos Santos, Mexico: Home of the famous Hotel California

April 4, 2017

Since I had no interest in spending time in the tourist trap of Cabo San Lucas, we opted for an excursion to the small city of Todos Santos, about 50 miles up the coast from Cabo. Our guide, Memo, said that Todos Santos now is what Cabo was 30 years ago, and that in another few decades, Todos Santos will have become like Cabo San Lucas. I’m glad we’re seeing it now!

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Our first view of Cabo San Lucas


It’s already been “discovered” in that there are about 70 art galleries and shopping areas in this town of 14,000 people, it is the location of Hotel California, made famous by the Eagles, and that most of the people I saw in town (besides those from our ship) spoke English. It’s the one place that doesn’t usually trade in U.S. dollars, but some vendors carry a few small U.S. bills and credit cards are accepted everywhere.

The bus ride to Todos Santos took about an hour. Memo told us a lot of information about the town and the region. Because Dale and I were sitting in front (for once!), it was easier to ask him questions.

I noticed a very cactus very much like the saguaro dotting the desert landscape outside. I couldn’t decide whether they were or were not saguaros. I didn’t think saguaros grew this far south, even though technically Baja California Sur is part of the Sonoran Desert. Memo said these cacti were in fact NOT saguaros. They belong to one of six species of cardón cacti, which grow so many arms that they can weigh up to five tons! I could see birds’ nest holes in them and wonder if they occupy a similar role in the ecosystem as saguaros do. In appearance, they are slightly thinner than saguaros, have many more arms and some have little protrusions sticking out near their tops.

Doing an online search for the cardón cactus, I learned that its technical name is Pachycereus pringlei, also known as Mexican giant cardon or elephant cactus. It grows in northwestern Mexico in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora. (Text and pictures source)

The cardón cactus can live up to 300 years and weigh up to 25 tons. It grows many more arms in its lifetime than the saguaro. The protrusions I saw at the top were apparently the beginning of its blooms.

I’d seen a lot of Mexico during my life, but had never been to Baja California before. So I asked Memo  whether it is feasible for Americans to retire here. Mexico has open borders and accepts anyone who wants to live here as long as they come in peace, he said. It used to be that foreigners could not own land outright in Mexico, but now they can. if you are looking for a nice 3-bedroom, 2 bath house away from the beach, in this area you can find one for $45-75,000. On the beach, however, you need to add another zero to that figure! The main problem here is that things cost more due to the peninsula’s relative isolation. That also goes for traveling – driving would require going all the way north to the border, then going south to see other parts of Mexico, or flying. (There may be car ferries over the Sea of Cortés; I just don’t know.) Cabo San Lucas has an international airport with direct flights to many cities in the U.S. and Canada, and of course, within Mexico. I think if we were truly going to retire in Mexico, we’d choose a more accessible area “on the mainland.” (Although I do love the desert!) Even so, Dale picked up a real estate brochure we found in Todos Santos.

Our bus’s first stop in Todos Santos was at a cultural center. KODAK Digital Still CameraIt used to be a school – first it was a normal (teacher training) school, then it became an elementary school. Today some specialty classes, like art or music, are taught here, mostly to children. The classrooms still being used are on the left as you enter. To the right are exhibits with old photographs and other artifacts (bones, adobe bricks, an old clock, etc.) that relate to the history of this area.

The exhibit of photographs included one of Mr. Wong, the architect of the Hotel California and another of “La Chacana.”  Mr. Wong, a Chinese immigrant, changed his name to Don Antonio Tabasco, but everyone in town knew him as “El Chino.” He designed and was the owner of the hotel, and hoped to pass it on to his children. He had no sons and his daughters had no interest in maintaining it, so it was sold. More interesting information can be read on this web site.

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Mural on a wall inside the entrance of the cultural center. Another similar one is on the other side.


The significance of “La Chacana” is also linked to the Hotel California, made famous by the Eagles’ song of that name. Although the Eagles vehemently deny that the legend is true, it’s an interesting story nevertheless.

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Inside the cultural center

The tale says that the Eagles, on a trip to Mexico, met a woman nicknamed “La Chacana”  (the trickster) because she was the only person to openly curse at the governor of the state of Oaxaca, where she lived. Anyway, this woman knew all about hallucinogenic mushrooms and she took the Eagles on a psychedelic trip with these mushrooms, which, combined with drinking a lot of mezcal (a much stronger version of tequila),  made them sick and badly hung over. They were due to fly back to the U.S. for a gig in Las Vegas, but they had headaches and were in bad shape after this “tripping.” One of their guides suggested they go a sleepy little town in Baja called Todos Santos, where there was a nice, comfortable hotel called the Hotel California where they could rest for a few days. So they flew to Cabo and got a ride to Todos Santos, where they checked into the hotel.
When they opened their luggage, however, one of the band members had a bottle of mezcal and another had a bag of “magic” mushrooms! So they went on another psychedelic trip enhanced by strong alcohol and soon were sick again! I don’t know if they made it to Las Vegas, but the story goes that while they were stoned, they began to compose the song that would become The Hotel California. Again, the Eagles have always denied this ever happened but Memo tried to lend credence to it by telling us we could ask any of the 80- to 90-year-olds who live here who remember this incident, and all will confirm it really happened. We may never know for sure, but the hotel and the town are happy to use the Eagles story to promote tourism to Todos Santos!

Memo also told us there was a “shrine” to Frida Kahlo in the back room of the exhibits. I looked but could only find two paintings, one a portrait of her that she clearly did not paint (on the left), and another which she might have painted (on the right) – it was done in her style, at least, one of her self-portraits.

A woman from our tour group who helped me find it didn’t know about her, asking how to pronounce her name and if she was from this area, so I explained that she was from the area around Mexico City and that she was in a bus accident as a teenager which kept her bedridden for months, covered in a torso cast. That was when she started to paint, I said – to amuse herself, she began drawing on her cast. From then on, she always had back pain and couldn’t walk well so she was highly focused on the physical aspects of her body, which was reflected in many of her self-portraits. I didn’t mention her marriage to Diego Rivera nor her “friendship” with Leon Trotsky, because Memo had already told the group these things. He said that the people of this town were somewhat obsessed with Frida Kahlo, which to me made sense. Todos Santos is an art colony with 70 art galleries, and Mexican artists were likely to exalt one of their most famous painters, and one who was highly unconventional as well.

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We walked from the cultural center to the church, a distance of three blocks. On the way, Memo showed us the gallery of a friend of his, who had made some beautiful pottery, on display outside. He said we could later go back and he’d show us how he makes the pots – which I’m sorry to say I forgot all about later. Memo said that the bus would pick us up at noon at the Hotel California, which was also where we were having “lunch” at 10:30 a.m.!


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The church had a mission attached to it and there were signs giving information about it. Memo also gathered the group in the Zócalo in front of the church to explain about it, a speech of which I heard very little because I was wandering around looking for photo opps. I did take pictures of the signs to refer to later.

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This church was the foundation of an early Jesuit mission, Santa Rosa de Todos Santos.


We went into the church briefly before heading to the hotel for our lunch. I took one or two shots inside and also of the carved wooden doors opening up onto the plaza.

The hotel was very colorful and had interesting décor. I took several very nice views, by this time mostly with my cellphone camera because my regular camera was not cooperating.

We were able to use the bathrooms here, supposedly better than other public facilities. However, I found the toilet paper roll in my stall on the floor, and it had gotten wet with…??! I had to be strategic about using it, making sure to use the dry part! I left the roll on the back of the toilet.

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The food we were served was a sort of combo plate, including portions of various types of typical Mexican food. There was a rolled up flower tortilla with some meat inside – I added beans, rice and guacamole from my plate to it to make a tasty taco. There was a bean enchilada which was hard to cut with a fork, since we were not given knives. There was also a tamale, which I had to explain to the Canadians, who had never seen one. We were also served water or soda as requested, so I then had a cold bottle of water to use until we got back on the bus. The food was quite good – I always like excursions that include a meal, so you get a chance to taste the local cuisine instead of eating the usual food on the ship.

After eating, it was about 11:00 and Memo gave us an hour of free time to shop and explore galleries. It would have been better, I think, to cut that time in half and get back to Cabo earlier where we would have the option of doing whatever in town or returning immediately to the ship. However, this gave us plenty of time to look around this pretty little town and take more pictures!

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In the end, I was very glad we visited Todos Santos. I loved exploring this colorful, creative town in the desert of Baja California!

Later, my sister Mary and brother-in-law told us about their quest to buy guayaberas (typical Mexican men’s shirts) in Cabo San Lucas. While my two sisters strolled around the touristy shops in Cabo, where Mary bought a couple of medium-quality guayaberas at rip-off prices, her husband – who speaks fluent Spanish and is a good walker – took off into the more “native” part of town, climbing hills and talking to people, and returned with a beautiful, finely made guayabera for half the price Mary paid!



Picturesque rocks off shore from Cabo San Lucas


This was our last stop before our port of disembarkation, San Diego. The Mexican “ambassadors” who had educated us about Mexico and entertained us on the ship got off at Cabo San Lucas. Our final day on the cruise was at sea, during which we did a 5K walk around the promenade deck, called “On Deck for a Cause” – a fundraising tradition at Holland America which takes place on all their cruises.  For a $20 registration fee, you receive a t-shirt and plastic bracelet, and the knowledge that every donation goes to international organizations doing cancer research in pursuit of a cure.

In San Diego, we said good-bye to my sisters and brother-in-law, who went home, while we stayed two extra days in San Diego.  (I’d love for you to check out my first post about San Diego,  Fun and Flowers in Balboa Park!)

WPC: Windows

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is all about windows: looking out, looking in, or  windows themselves.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Photographing windows from the outside can be tricky. A reflection on the glass may obscure the true subject that is inside. However, a reflection can also add a nice effect.

Reflection of the outside, a horse statue inside and the design on the window itself in Des Plaines, IllinoisSONY DSC

A variety of nutcrackers inside a Christmas store window in Saugatuck, Michigan20151012_100546

INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  It could be a scene of the life outside, or it could just be weather!

A leaf plastered on my window by a November rainstormAnother view of leaf on window during storm

At the Chicago River Museum, looking out of a 4th story round window20160922_103404

OUTSIDE LOOKING AT:  Sometimes the windows themselves are interesting or attractive.

A small window with grates above the entrance to a shop at Las Bóvedas in Cartagena, Colombia, is a vestige of the times when it was used as a prison.KODAK Digital Still Camera

Window with flower pots in Todos Santos, Mexico20170404_160053_001

Izapa: A Crossroads of Trade

April 1, 2017                  Chiapas, Mexico

Our tour’s first destination today was the ruins of Izapa. To get there, we drove east from Puerto Chiapas until we were just a few miles from the Guatemalan border. Our guide, Cora, told us the history of Izapa. It was the first major city built by the Mayans, and according to Internet research I did later, it did have pyramids (actually, they were temples) at one time. Tourists cannot visit the entire site, because archaeological research is still being conducted. One thing that is known is that it was a crossroads of trade and was occupied by other indigenous peoples. The Aztecs, who were warriors, tried to conquer it once, but the Mayas negotiated with them, giving them 200 sacks of cacao seeds, feathers, and slaves. Cacao seeds were like money, so literally money grew on trees!


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A drawing of how this portion of Izapa would have looked during occupation. The ball court is at the top, marked by #126-127. The Watchman is behind it to the left. 


Archaeologists have found artifacts at Izapa that originated in South America and in what is now the Midwestern United States. In its heyday, Izapa was home to about 35,000 people. It is believed they traded with native peoples of Peru, because at Nazca archaeologists found three items which were unique to the Maya – one was an artifact painted with a blue dye from a plant from this area. Another was a figurine of a frog made in a typical Mayan style. Cora told us the Mayans were “good sailors”, which I had never heard before.KODAK Digital Still Camera

Research I have done since does indicate a connection between the Olmecs and the Mayas, the Olmec being an older civilization. The Maya were definitely influenced by the Olmec, since all of the peoples of this hemisphere were migratory at some point. The large heads created by the Olmec depict them wearing headbands, which would originally have contained feathers, like the Mayas of Izapa, who worshipped a feathered serpent and wore this headband that represented the snake. Many of the gods of the various indigenous groups were the same, but using different names. Quetzalcoatl, the major god of the Aztec/Mixeca, the Mayas called Cuculcán, but it was the same god.

Linguistically, the Mayan language is not related, as far as I know, to that of the Olmec or Aztec. The latter spoke Nahuatl since Nahuatl can be divided into several dialects. I’m not sure of the linguistic history of the Mayan language. According to Wikipedia  , the Mayan language family has no demonstrated genetic relationship to other language families. Similarities with some languages of Mesoamerica are understood to be due to diffusion of linguistic traits from neighboring languages into Mayan and not to common ancestry.

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One of the mysterious standing stones scattered throughout the site. 

The excavated portion of Izapa, Cora said, is only a small piece of the entire city. When restoring it, furthermore, archaeologists used cement to hold the stones together, but the Maya would have used mud and sand – and eggs! – as mortar. There is one large mound of sand and dirt with stones scattered among it that has not yet been reconstructed, but there is a ball court, several 3-tiered platforms and a variety of stelas (for which Izapa is most known) and standing stones.

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The ball court


The ball court is a feature common to indigenous people from central Mexico south – the Aztecs and the Zapotec had them and probably others too. It was not just a game – it could decide one’s fate. If there was a problem that the community couldn’t resolve, for example, the two sides would play on the ball court and the solution suggested by the winning side would prevail. It was also used to decide the fate of groups of captives. Cora had told us the Maya were not a warrior society, yet they wore the feathered serpent headdresses to fortify them in war, they took captives (obviously in battle) and they practiced human sacrifice – although this may have nothing to do with war and everything to do with religion: appeasing the blood lust of the gods. In fact, the victor in a ball game was sometimes the one sacrificed and this was considered an honor, because one was sacrificing one’s life to benefit the entire society by keeping the gods happy.
Cora stopped in front of one of the stelas, which are stones with carved pictures on them.

In this case, the carving was weathered to the point of being difficult to discern, so Cora passed around a colored copy of the picture once imprinted on it. It was part of a codex, a series of pictures that told a story or stated a rule. The stelas found at this site were protected from handling and further erosion with green tin roofs overhead and chicken wire fences around them.

While she was talking about this, I noticed a commotion to the left of where I was sitting on a low stone wall on one side of the ball court. Several members of our group were crowded around something they were looking at on the ground and one man was taking a picture. It was a black scorpion! It fled by running along the bottom of the stone wall and it was probably a good thing that I had stood up to see what they were looking at because the venomous creature was headed in my direction!


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Dale asked about some stones that were sticking up from the ball court walls. Cora said they were just part of the ball court but I’m not so sure. There were other such stones standing about the grounds seemingly randomly, but what I noticed was that they all appeared to be facing north. I knew which way was north because Cora led us to another noteworthy artifact beyond the ball court: a pillar-like structure, called The Watchman, which she said was the carving of a man crouched and looking in the direction of a volcano to the north. She said that this structure also functioned as a clock or calendar, the sun appearing directly behind it at certain times of the day or year, and the Big Dipper rising directly above it at night.

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The Watchman


Next, she showed us another wire fence and tin roof protected group of three stone objects. The one on the right was an elongated piece of stone with a snake’s head carved on one end and the stone was hollowed out in the middle along its length. This was a piece of an aqueduct and it represented the god Cuculcán. The other two pieces in the group appeared to have some relation to the first, one being a large bowl-like object with a deep well in the middle, but Cora didn’t explain what they were.
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After that, she gave us 20 minutes of free time to explore the site further. We were to meet at the bus at 10:40. I checked my watch, which said the same time as hers: 10:20. Dale and I went in different directions. He immediately climbed one of the platforms and went off to take pictures. Several other people did the same.

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There were no trees in the restored area and no wind. It was very hot and I was glad I had a hat, and that I had applied sunscreen on the bus. I had forgotten the bug spray, however, so waved away the small insects that always seem attracted to me.


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Izapa’s hot, dry climate is the perfect habitat for this little fella!


I climbed up and down a couple of the three-tiered platforms for a different perspective. I discovered a large sign, in English, which described the “don’t miss” stelas and other objects. I read and photographed the sign and started to make my way to the other stelas in the direction of the bus. KODAK Digital Still Camera

Panama Cruise C 645I was so absorbed that when Dale called to me from the bus, I was surprised to see that everyone else had already gotten back on the bus! I was the last one! Possibly everyone else had just gotten too hot, because there were five minutes left in the 20 minutes of free time. However, since everyone else was ready to go, I had no choice but to comply.  Dale said he got pictures of everything, including the signs, so I wouldn’t have to miss anything.

Thursday Doors: Tuxtla Chico’s Santa Maria Candelaria

April 1, 2017

In the town of Tuxtla Chico, Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, we visited the main church, which is in the Zócalo, or Central Square. The colorful main entrance is unique and beautiful in its simplicity.



The interior:

Stained glass panels

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The main altar with its statue of Santa Maria Candelaria.



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In the courtyard:Panama Cruise C 672

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Norm’s (Dan’s this week) Thursday Doors, 9/7/17