Thursday, 4 January 2018

My Mayan Adventure: DAY 17 - GUATEMALA

Today has been bittersweet. I've had a wonderful, sweet day aside from one incident. Today is weird because it is the end of my 'Mayan Adventure' as such - did you know that the Mayans only inhabited Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. I kind of guessed they would have made their way down to Nicaragua and Costa Rica too, but apparently not! 

I spent the morning with my friend from New Zealand, she's such a sweetheart and so funny! We got ready, went to a vegan cafe for some breakfast, headed to the chocolate museum together and then did some shopping. 

The chocolate museum was definitely worth a visit, it had a lot of information about the Mayan gods and how they used Cacao. I knew the Mayan civilisation was of interest to me, but I didn't realise how much I enjoyed learning about them until I was here. 

The Aztecs discovered cacao when they gained consol over Mayas in the southern area of Mesoamerica. Soon cacao was key to the Aztecs vast trade empire, as it became a form of currency. The chocolate drink became an upper-class privilege. 

I learned a little bit about three Mayan gods in the museum. There was "Yum Kax" who was a benevolent God. This God was associated with life, prosperity and abundance. Yum Kax was also the God of corn and agriculture, represented by a youngster holding a cob of corn, with lots of leaves and a deformed head.

The next God I read about was Ixcacao, who was the God of the cacao tree and the chocolate that was produced by the fruits of the tree. This God would work alongside the mother of corn, the God of rain and other God's relating to agriculture. Mayans would pray to their Gods and give sacrifice for the things they needed.

Then I met up with my other bestie here (also called Lisa) and had a vegan cake with her in the vegan restaurant I love so much. We then decided to take a Tuc-Tuc for the second time, up to the viewing point. The view was seriously pretty, the town looked like a little toy village from up there and all the colours, trees and volcanos looked beautiful together. We sat for a while and had a lovely chat about our trip and about travel. Then we decided to take a wander back towards our hotel. We were walking down these windy mountain roads and something quite shocking happened. 

A man came running up behind me, and I assumed he was going to try and steal from my rucksack so I span around to face him and he put his hands all around my waist and bottom. He must have realised it was a long interaction with which I'd recognise him, and ran back up the mountain road. Seriously though, what is wrong with people? I think we were relaxed because there were so many tourists around and we have had just over two weeks with no trouble whatsoever, but it is a reminder to take extra care wherever you are. Unfortunately, especially as a female. I'm all for the equal rights of men and women, my dad brought me up and I think we should work towards the evolution and improvement of humans, not a specific gender. However, men like that really do let the gender down. I am a brain, a soul and I have a whole oasis of feelings. I am not an inanimate object, someone I don't allow in can touch. I'm actually disgusted. The guy ran off up the hill and had this creepy smirk on his face. 

At home, I would have gone straight to the police about this, because it isn't right, one bit. However, I am leaving tomorrow and I don't want to be stuck at police stations giving statements. I also don't know if I would be taken seriously here, as it was literally a tap and he didn't steal anything. Urgh. 

The first thing someone I spoke to about it asked if I was alone. As if it's a woman's fault for being alone, um, maybe some men shouldn't prey on innocent women? Yeah, not cool, at all. I won't let this taint my experience here because it's been amazing, but societies need to stop blaming women for men who still behave like retarded cave men. It even made me think I shouldn't wear certain clothes and wear a headscarf too, but fuck that, again, the problem lies with men like that, not women. 

Anyway, I am just lucky to be safe and sound. I am lucky I had the foresight to swing around, block one arm and stare at him. I am lucky I wasn't alone (not that I'd walk anywhere like that alone). I am lucky he didn't steal my bag like I thought he was intending to as it had my passport and phone in! My friend bought me a safety bag and from here on out that is where my passport will live! 

Yeah, so that was a strange end to a lovely day, but I still have the rest of this evening to enjoy with a few of the remaining people from my tour! We are going back to the vegan restaurant haha. 

I am loving hearing all the Spanish music, I am loving the idea of future adventure, I am loving the vegan cafe we found, I am loving speaking Spanish more, I am loving the colourful streets, shops, outfits and souvenirs of Antigua. I am loving that I just picked up my fresh clean clothes from the launderette, and most importantly - I am loving life! 

Someone from the group came up to me today when we were saying goodbye and said the nicest thing. See, we didn't really speak at first but then I made the effort to actually chat with him and we both shocked one another about how much we actually had in common. We also both broke down our initial judgements too. I think I thought he was a bolshy lads lad from the army and he thought I was a blonde bimbo. They both turned out to be untrue and taught us both to not make assumptions I guess, which is always a good lesson to learn. 

Anyway, he said: "I'm really glad I met you. You're a really cool person and we've had some of the best conversations. I'm glad you made the effort to talk to me and it's been lovely to meet you. You're one of my favourite people on this trip, You're at the top of the food chain for me and I hope to see you again!" 

What an absolute cutie-pie! That was THE SWEETEST thing to come from such a boys boy. It makes me respect him even more. We had amazing conversations and both blew negative expectations away. I also respect that he shares kind words as I always try to. If it's kind, then it's worth saying.

I know he has a similar outlook and sees life is too short to not say nice things. I have met some really cool people on this trip and learned some decent, life-changing lessons too. I've also been inspired by the people I've met in heaps of different ways and I am going to carry that on through life! 

Peace Out Potatoes xo

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