Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I learned something new today. The night watchman at Gringo Perdido had caught a scorpion in the night, and kept it to show me the babies all over its back (you can see them in the photo). I found that very interesting, so came home and looked it up on the internet ... so just in case you are interested too ... here is the story of reproduction of the scorpion ...

The scorpions mating ritual is enacted when the male uses his pedipalps to grasp the female's pedipalps in order to lead her on a courtship dance. The details of courtship vary from species to species, with some even exhibiting a deliberate and prolonged "sexual sting" by the male. The male sweeps his pectines over the ground surface to help locate a suitable place to deposit his spermatophore, which contains the sperm. The male pulls the female over the surface where she draws the sperm into her genital pore that is located near the front on the underside of her abdomen.

Scorpions have a long gestation period varying from several months to a year and a half in which the young develop as embryos in the female's ovariuterus. During this time, nutrients are transferred from the mother's digestive gland to the embryos. The young are born live and use the mother�s legs to ascend to her back.

On the average, a female gives birth to about 25-35 young. They remain on her back until they molt for the first time, which is usually within a week or two after birth. Once they climb down, they assume an independent existence, and periodically molt to reach adulthood. Typically five or six molts over two to six years are required for the scorpion to reach maturity. Adult scorpions range in size from 1.5 cm to 21 cm in length.

P.S. The scorpions here are not dangerous ... their sting is similar to a bee.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Paving Paradise

All those who have visited with us here will probably recognize this spot ... right at the corner where you turn to go along the lakeshore road. Well, first thing this morning a
complete road crew moved in and started the long-awaited and much appreciated asphalting job to pave the road all the way to Jobem Piche, which is already paved. It is going to be a blessing to all the asthma sufferers along that road, who have been overcome with the dust problem each dry season, especially this last couple of years with the added traffic going through.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

El Biotopo Cerro Cahui

El Remate is said to be under the protection of El Cahui, the Mystical Mayan Crocodile. The area is a plant and wildlife preserve, and there are a couple of self-guided hikes up through the jungle and over ancient Mayan ruins to the top where there is a fantastic view! Hotel El Gringo Perdido is the only hotel in the biotopo, and is located lakeside, just under where the eye of the crocodile would be, about 3 km. from the turn off (around the lake) in the center of the village.


El Remate

El Remate is a pretty little village of about 250 families, nestled amongst the trees on the eastern end of Lake Peten Itza. It is located exactly half way between the international airport in Flores, and Tikal, the ancient Mayan ceremonial city. Posted by Picasa


Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Babies in the Jungle

Okay, here they are ...
the results of Shadow's labors. Posted by Picasa


A New Volunteer

Marvin Coronado is a young man from Ixlu (the neighboring village) who became interested in computers about 2 years ago. He accessed every possible source for information here in the locality, and soon started frequenting the Internet Cafe in Santa Elena, where he began asking questions over the internet to find out all the things he wanted to know. If his results in the computer center are any indication, then this form of education is incredibly effective. In the last 3 Sundays, the only day he has free from the small office supplies store he opened in Ixlu a few months ago, he has had great success repairing computers that "experts" had given up on. He now has 7 old computers not only working and back online, but also equipped with Windows XP in Spanish!! He has also volunteered to sell us our computer/office supplies at cost through his store, and will be bringing another connector so that we can put more than 7 computers online. Having more working computers is going to be a great help during our computer classes when we always have 3 or 4 students per computer, and the rest doing other activities on the floor as they wait their turn.


Marvin Coronado

Marvin hard at work re-installing Windows 98 in this computer. Posted by Picasa



If you would care to comment or reply to any of these postings, just click on "# comments" on the bottom right of the posting. I'd love to hear from you. Posted by Picasa


Morning Fun

R2D2 (the bigger one) and Jade are on my kitchen shelf this morning ... They come in under the eves after they eat breakfast to see what mischief they can get into. Usually they start by plucking my kitchen implements from the nails and dropping them into the pila below.

R2D2 and Jade are in love ... they are inseparable. They don't care that he is a parrot and she is a parokeet. It has been hard for Storm to break into their little clique, but she perseveres. They all live together in the giant-lemon tree. Posted by Picasa


Breakfast in the Jungle

Here is Storm, eating her (his, who knows?) chiltepes. They are a tiny hot pepper that is dark greenish black now, but will turn red when ripe. They grow wild all over the area, and people around here eat them right from the clipped branch with their beans and tortillas (and eggs if they have chickens) for breakfast. Posted by Picasa


A "Birth" Day in the Jungle

Here are the proud and happy parents shortly before the birth ...

Early this morning as I was playing with the dogs, who, with their bouncy morning exuberance were keeping me from immersing myself in my early Sunday computer news, I heard a piercing catscream. The three of us jumped and ran for the kitchen, where we found Shadow lying on the floor by the door with a dark gooey wet blob between her legs ... her new kittens were on their way! I ran to find her a box to give her minimal protection from the hyperactive dogs and Dusk and Dawn, her two fascinated daughters (from the last pregnancy). Carefully I moved her and her new little one, who she had by now cleaned, into the box, where she continued with the cleaning as I left to go look for some chiltepes (tiny wild hot peppers) for a breakfast treat for Jade, R2D2 and Storm, the three parrots. By the time I returned (5 minutes max), Shadow and the kitten had disappeared. I soon discovered them in an empty box upstairs. Posted by Picasa


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Activation Maya Website now online

This is my first attempt at "blogging" ... I have just downloaded all of Google's new features, and I think this could be just what I need to keep a record of our lives here in the jungle, and of the development of Project Ix-canaan ... so our friends and supporters can keep up with all that is happening here.

It took several days to figure it all out, waiting each day for my "host" to answer the next question I had about getting it done properly ... but finally, it is on the web! It certainly isn't finished yet ... but it has the basic facts about the event ... and can be viewed at . I am going to put something new on it every day, so be sure to keep checking back.

Our new puppy, Tzolkin, is growing like a weed and has captured our hearts! We are convinced that he is our last Tzolkin, reincarnated. Enrique happened to be in Guatemala City, visiting with his family, when they brought in a huge beautiful male chou chou to father Nala's next batch of puppies. He took that opportunity to send a silent message into the ethers that if Tzolkin was ready to come back to us, to send us a sign ... we would know that it was him if, once again, the first-born of the litter was a blue alpha male. And he was! So he has returned to us!

Okay ... time to get some work done ... I'll add some more to this later ...