Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

June 29, 2006

It's Time to Heal What Has Been Neglected

Just to give you some idea, here are some shots of Antiqua, Guatemala, where K, my older daughter, is doing her Master's thesis. The streets (below) are made of paving stone; there is an active volcano (above center) that looms over the city; Mayan (indigena) people buy their produce and other things at el mercado (right) at the town center.

Earlier this morning we did a chat. She'll be in Guatemala until July 29. She is staying in San Marcos by Lake Atitlan ("Place of Water") until Saturday, when she will return to Antigua. Her heart is changing every day as she sees how the indigena (the Mayans) scrape together a living to keep their land planted. They live a simple, kindly life, but there is no running water, no emergency services, no recycling, etc.--a lot of things we take for granted here in the states. Yet these people are total heart and real and close to the Earth, however poor they may be, with a high infant mortality rate and diseases that go untreated except for the yerbas (herbs) provided by the local medicine woman.

K loves it there. The people are gracious and humble and they know so much more than Americans about what's important in life. She wants to return again and again. She plans to write her thesis not only on healing indigena herbs, but also on sustainability and environmental conservation. She wants somehow to serve these people after she gets her Masters/PhD. I love her passion.

She typed a list of herbs she's been given down there for menstrual pain: yarrow, oregano, fenugreek, chamomile, mirto, toronjil, hilipielque, ajenjo, pericon, and salvia santa. She has been granted a special license to bring plant material and seeds back to the states to research and add to her repertoire for her study of medical anthropology, indiginous herbs, ethnobotany.

But I get that her real study isn't about science. It's about humanity. She inspired me so much I'm wondering what I'm doing with my life here in America. Maybe I need to stay here and fight for human rights and the Earth; or maybe I need to assist her in some way. It's all too nebulous right now.

For a terrific site for Guatemala slide shows in Quicktime presentations, visit Netshaman to give you an idea of this incredible Mayan country and its people.


Blogger Joy said...

Wow that sounds really wonderful,
I am glad your daughter is getting that kind of opportunity


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