On our last full day of spring break we decided to spend our time enjoying the vibrant flowers that have made this year’s vacation destination so special. The flowers here are remarkably vivid and bright, and it is especially enjoyable when the locals fashion them into pretty garlands that grace the native woodworking and other items made by local artisans. Just down the street is a market that sells the handmade work of master craftsmen who specialize in woodworking, pottery, and tapestry. If only we had such creative artistry at home!
Of course, the social whirl is a key part of the whole spring break experience. When the cocktail hour — liberally defined, of course — rolls around, it’s important to interact with your fellow spring breakers. The crowds and partying give the spring break traveler an excellent opportunity for people watching while enjoying a tropical adult beverage served in a festive setting.
This year’s spring break destination has all of that, and more. We had to elbow our way in to the overcrowded bar to get served, and then were incredibly lucky to find an open table where we could enjoy the sunshine, listen to the loud hip-hop music that had some guests on their feet and dancing, and watch the crowds go by.
Today Kish and I decided to get in touch with nature at our spring break destination. And what better way to do so that to take a nature hike and try to get a glimpse of the elusive local wildlife?
These cute critters are hard to find, and almost as camera-shy as the mythical Sasquatch. Fortunately, some careful hunting allowed us to take a rare photo of this species, which typically tries to avoid any and all human contact. After luring this plump little fellow with an acorn, we were treated to the pleasant spectacle of him cavorting and gamboling in the virgin wilderness with his furry tailed friends. This must have been what life was like back when this area was not despoiled by resort developments and the depredations of modern civilization!
We’ll always treasure the photo of this friend in the forest and look forward to sharing it with our friends when we return home after this year’s wonderful spring break.
Spring break shouldn’t be all about getting sun, relaxing, reading, and soaking up flavorful tropical beverages. In my view, it’s also important to explore some of the native culture in your spring break locale and broaden your horizons.
Fortunately, our spring break destination this year has many intriguing cultural artifacts that can serve to stimulate the imagination. Today we took a guided tour of some of the curious items left behind by past civilizations. From our review of the two items pictured above, it appears that the early humans in this location worshipped frogs, among other creatures in the pantheon of their gods. Archaeologists theorize that the two frogs represent male and female deities, and some kind of ancient fertility ritual, and that the dish balancing on their heads might be an altar where small animals were sacrificed as part of ancient religious rites designed to bring about more bountiful harvests.
The carefully crafted sculpture of the dog, on the other hand, has puzzled historians. Some theorize that the dog is part of the ancient civilization’s creation myth, in which a gigantic dog god unearthed the first humans from underground. Others maintain that the close proximity and juxtaposition of the dog figure and the frog figures indicate a linkage between those gods and their function in the ancient culture — and perhaps that after creatures are sacrificed on the altar, the dog buries them as part of the death rituals celebrated by local shamans.
It’s great to get some culture on spring break! With exposure to artifacts like these, I feel like I will return from this sojourn more worldly, and wiser, than when I left.