George pulls weeds and still keeps his hands baby-soft!

It worked…it really worked! Don Fidel is leading an entire brigade of Ek Balam-ians in cleaning up the grounds of the cabanas. And I helped, just like in the old Shake and Bake commercial! All told, the group of about 10 men has worked 4 days for about 2 hours each day. Armed with machetes they are cutting the knee- and sometimes waist-high weeds down to size. Lacking a machete of my own I am pulling weeds by hand, which I know none of you will believe! We trimmed along all the pathways, too, so that a tidy border runs where before were only encroaching plants. So far, we have gotten to about ¾ of the grounds and at the rate we are going we will finish before I leave in one week.

Last Sunday was an important day for us: a party of 16 came for lunch, with three village women cooking and two more serving. Two of the younger guys, Willy and Josue, helped me wash all the tables and chairs in the dining room. Tere, the receptionist and primary English speaker cleaned the kitchen and all the cabinets (we’ve been having a rat visitor there at night.). I swept the sidewalks, which I realize is a losing battle in the jungle, and the floors of the museum. The menu? Cochinita Pibil, my favorite – sort of like the roast pig cooked in a pit that they do at a Hawaiian luau. They loved it!

The jungle is a mighty force. It won’t be long before it threatens to take back the land again. But, I am feeling a moment of accomplishment. This suggestion I made about making the hotel more appealing to guests was taken to heart and acted upon. What happens after I leave is, well, to be clichéd, Que Sera, Sera. But I can dream, can’t I? (Yes, two popular songs in one sentence – pretty creative, I’d say.)

Ek Balam-cleaning up the grounds-the town leaders and me

Uh Najil Ek Balam-welcome signEk Balam-carrying away the vinesEk Balam-cleaning up the grounds 2Uh Najil-cleahing up the garden the triangleUh Najil Ek Balam-reception officeUh Najil Ek Balam-cleaning up the groundsUh Najil Ek Balam-bathroomsEk Balam- Angel and volunteer MarianaEk Balam-cleaning up the grounds


About this entry