Thursday, April 15, 2010

Archeology at its best: Mayan ruins & Branson, Missouri

I just went on a trip through the Mayan ruins of Central America -- and all I can say about that is, "Wow!"

First I went to Joya de Ceren, an archeological site in El Salvador consisting of a small 5th-century Mayan town that had been preserved because of a volcanic eruption -- sort of like the Pompeii of Central America. There you could see how every-day Mayans lived 1,320 years ago. And guess what? Every-day Mayans back then lived in adobe homes pretty much like the ones that many Mayans still live in today. Here's the video:

Then I went off to see the Copan temple complex in Honduras. But I already told you about that.

Then I went to Tikal, in Guatemala. It was as big as Yosemite and as impressive as Karnak. And I got lost and had to get rescued by a park ranger. He was cute. Here's the video:

Then I went to the exact same ruin where they filmed "Survivor Guatemala," and stood on the exact same spot where Jeff Probst had stood. It doesn't get more archeological than that! Here's the video:

Then I spent several hours on a small boat, going up a river in the jungle to the Mayan ruin of Lamanai in Belize. It was all very Indiana Jones. Here's the video:

On the way back through the jungle, I passed a Mennonite settlement. How bizarre is that! Out in the middle of the freaking jungle, miles from nowhere, lived a whole colony of old-fashioned Mennonites, wearing old-fashioned dresses and beards and suspenders and
looking for all the world like I had just landed in western Pennsylvania.

And not only that, but it was Sunday and a lot of the Mennonites were strolling down by the riverside after church -- and the young men were courting the young ladies by showing off and diving into the river from high posts, fully clothed. And the young ladies were giggling and blushing and totally attentive. Watching this scene was like witnessing an American-style courtship ritual from 150 years ago. It was fascinating. But was it archeology? Probably not.

When I get back to the U.S., I want to go to Branson, Missouri. I already got a brochure!

"Known as the 'Live Music Show Capital of the World,' Branson, Missouri, is truly a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination — and an incredible value — with more than 50 live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, 12 championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, an Historic Downtown district, shopping galore, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and conference facilities."

I wonder what archeologists will be saying about Branson, Missouri
1,320 years from now?

"But maybe there won't even BE any archeologists 1,320 years from now," commented my daughter Ashley. "You're forgetting that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012." You mean that the human race could be coming to an end in less than two years? Well, heck. In that case, what we really need to do is to make the most of these two remaining years. Screw buying a new car, working a dead-end job or getting my apartment clean. If the human race is truly going to die out by 2012 (and if you consider the way that we are avoiding the reality of climate change and using mega-bombs like they were Kleenex, this extinction is totally possible), then I need to get ready! We all need to get ready. We all need to run out and do a whole bunch of good deeds ASAP so that we can all make it into Heaven.

PS: Back in the U.S. of A., I hear that Americans are still running around like chickens with their heads cut off, all dazed and confused. There are many serious things wrong with America right now but nobody seems to be trying to fix any of them -- or else are only making use of our confusion to feather their own nests.

Wall Street and bankers are acting like vultures. Teabaggers are acting like ostriches with their heads in the sand. The Pentagon has pretty much gone coo-coo about trying to conquer the world. And most Americans are acting like turkeys. "Gobble gobble gobble," they say as they gobble up everything in sight at the malls and swallow up all that bird poop being force-fed down their throats by commercials -- clearly unaware that they are only fattening themselves up to get stuffed.

At a time when Americans direly needs more eagles and doves, we seem to be mostly stuck with birdbrains, birds of prey and pigeons.

Americans need to stop acting like dodos, prepare for the harsh winter ahead, work together for the common good as one flock, learn to fly high and stop feathering their nests with all that greed and hate that's gonna come back and bite them in the [tail feathers] REALLY SOON -- whether or not the Mayan calendar is right.