|A slash or slit is made in the tree and the sap runs slowly out. This can only be done every three years on a tree.|
|The gum is collected in canvas bags that are hung on the trees.|
The resident milk producer was also around, but she was busy too.
While in the camp the men live off the land and their animals. Our guide said there were usually some chickens around but there had been bad hunting last week and the chickens had disappeared. All the workers, he said, carry guns to pick off game they may encounter as well as any unwelcome strangers who might happen into their territory. Hopefully that was a joke, but he wasn't laughing when he said it.
The general living conditions are pretty rudimentary.
|Eggs decorate the roof of the sleeping area--to promote fertility according to our guide.|
|Here is the living room. Didn't see a TV anywhere.|
|Here is the shower. Note ladder on left that you climb in order to pour water on the showeree.|
|The kitchen is fully equipped.|
|After work recreation appeared to be liquid in nature. Note pile of crushed beer cans around tree.|
He pointed out some leaves that if crushed and eaten would mediate diabetes and then said that drug companies were not interested in these kinds of natural remedies because they could not be patented. "The drug companies are not interested in your health" said Rob, "only your money." He also pointed out a tree that if you came into contact with it would cause you to burn fiercely and also a tree not twenty-five yards away that he said would relieve the pain. Noone in our party volunteered to try it out. Nor did he.
On the way back to the van we stopped to inspect a wild cotton bush that was all ready to harvest.
Then it was on to Leona Vicario, a small Mayan town which you will tour with us in the next chapter of Stirring the Pudding.