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  • Omoide Class Story - Trip by Sam

Omoide Class Story - Trip by Sam

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TRIP TO MEXICO & GUATAMALA
by Sam Goto

One day, I was talking to Bob about pyramids and his reaction was just so so. I said to him, “I thought everyone was interested in them like sex.” I had been interested in pyramids and ancient civilizations since high school. Anyway, It’s interesting to me and kind of fun to recall my trip to Mexico and Guatemala in 1974.

We had built our new house and Dee’s cousin from Japan had gone home after a six-month stay, Dee pulled her nursing job savings together and sent me on this trip.

It was hot and humid when I got to the Yucatan and Merida, I had to take baths both in the morning and night, I went on a car tour, with three of us, and as we passed a kind of walled off cemetery, I asked about it so the driver stopped.

It was one of those places where the dead body was placed to decay in a shallow grave box with a lid. After a year or so, nothing was left but the skeleton. It looked all brown and dusty. There was a man inside near one of the walls. His job was washing the bones - what a job. I learned that after the bones were washed, they were placed into a lantern-like display case, the family was notified and there was a ceremony.

With all it’s political issues, Guatamala City was not peaceful. Soldiers were standing around with automatic weapons on their shoulders. The city, laid out in kind of a circle with the capital in the middle was interesting. There was a walking relief map of Guatemala, like a putt putt golf course. The guide explained that the President liked it so much, he had the builder killed so no one else could make one like it. Using my limited Spanish, I got around.

The most impressive place was Tikal, an ancient Mayan city that had been reclaimed from the jungle. As I was riding in a small Bush Plane, I mentioned to the pilot, “I recently read that a plane had crashed flying over the jungle.”

He answered, “That was my brother.”

After we landed, the site was nothing special at first. Then we got under the canopy of the jungle foliage of the lost city of Tikal. It smelled like mushrooms. I saw huge Banyan trees roots and a lot of monkeys overhead!

Entering the big courtyard of the main pyramid ruins with the famous steep steps, maybe 300 ft. high, it was more exciting than I had imagined! I climbed, holding on to a chain. At the top was a 2000 year old cedar temple. What a view!

Seeing the Tikal pyramid scenes again in a Star Wars movie and seeing documentaries on TV, create special feelings because I’ve been there.

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