Did you miss us?

June 29, 2006

Hi there!  Long time no blog.  There are no excuses for this, I know, but let me give it a shot anyway.  We’ve had problems with the wordpress site, they seem to do maintenance fairly often.  Add to that the fact that the electricity and water have gone out three times now in our hotel and I’m sure you can imagine some of the challenges we’re facing.

Yesterday morning (early – 6am!) Janice, Olger and I went on the bird watching tour that CTSK offers.  It was really great, especially because our guide, Alberto has a fantastic ability to recognize the birds by their calls alone.   Before we started the bird tour, though, we met a local shaman (actually, I think we woke him up).  He just moved to the house he’s living in and he’s trying to start a botanical garden with all the medicinal plants they use.  He showed us some of the plants and what they’re used for, then showed us some of the medicines he makes from them.

After meeting Don Domaso we started the birdwatching tour in the Muyil archeological zone.  Soon after we started it started to rain.  Lots.  So we hid out in one of the ruins up on a pyramid and watched the rain.  Luckily, it only rained for about 10 minutes so we were able to continue on with the tour.  The most incredible bird we saw was this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motmot.

After we finished the bird tour, we took the boat to monkey island to talk about a tour they’re thinking of doing.  They would like to build a botanical garden and butterfly farm in this stand of jungle that is in the middle of the mangrove swamps on the edge of the savanah.

We arrived back at the hotel around 11:45 and were starving.  We worked for a few minutes and then came into Tulum for lunch.  We were really looking forward to going back to the hotel, working straight through to dinner and really starting to wrap up the presentation for Friday and documentation for the project.  However, when we arrived a the hotel there was no electricity or water.  It never would have occurred to me to select a hotel based on whether or not they have their own generator, but it turns out this would be a good criteria to use.  Anyway, I called the desk to find out what was going on and when it would be fixed and was happily told it would be fixed sometime that day.  So we all gathered our things and headed into Tulum to the CTSK office to work.  This allowed us to get some of our work done, but there are too many of us to really work here successfully given the number of ethernet connections.  Anyway, that’s why we’re behind on the blog.  🙂

Josh and I have made a lot of progress on the CTSK website (http://www.siankaantours.org.  He’s been working on a new design and templates as a short-term fix that will unify their pages and make the information more accessible.  We’ve been working with Paulina and Cristian in the CTSK office to convert all of the pages to the new look and feel.  I’ve been doing a lot of translating, which has been interesting because I realize I didn’t know any computer words in Spanish!  They’re both completely new at doing HTML, so it is taking some time, but they’re picking it up quickly.  If I had this program to do over again, I might organize some sort of web development class in addition to the work Josh and I have been focusing on for the site.We’ve also been working on the spec for the longer term wholesale redesign of their site and the report for the entire program.  We’re almost done (a good sign since we’re leaving the day after tomorrow!)

This morning before the electricity went out we went snorkeling in front of the hotel, so I would really love to remove all the salt with a shower.  Guess I’m gonna have to wait for that.  We’re trying to get things wrapped up so we can meet Laura, Dustin and folks in Xcaret for the final presentation they’re doing for the hotels, then tomorrow we have wrap up meetings all day.



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