Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday: Yaxcopoil

Hola! No school! Yay!  Instead, a group of us decided to go to Uman and the hacienda Yaxcopoil.  It was so cool!  I have been really excited to go to an hacienda, so it was really neat.  For those of you who don't know, an hacienda is basically like the Mexican version of a plantation - a giant farm where the owners are rich and live in a huge and beautiful house and have slaves or practically-slaves work everything.  There is usually a tiny town next door where the workers lived.  For this trip, we met at Sanjuanistas Park and then walked over to take a bus to the Centro.  On the way up, I got brave enough to sit by a native person even when there were other open seats!  :) His name was José.  We talked about music and how great it is (he plays the piano and the organ... and maybe the flute? I can't remember), and then we talked about how great talents are, how they're gifts from God and we need to not be ashamed to share them with others.  Turns out he works as a masseur and he gave me a sweet hand/forearm massage on the way to the centro! To answer your question, yes, it was a little weird at first. He was like 50. But once he started it felt soooo good and it wasn't weird anymore :) At the end of the bus ride he was going to give me his name and phone number in case I need help with anything while I'm here, but my pen wasn't working so he couldn't. Que triste... :)  

On the second bus I also sat by someone I didn't know! His name was Jesús.  So it's kind of hard for me sometimes to hear people on the bus because it's so noisy, and that happened with Jesús today.  As a result, he thought I didn't really speak Spanish, which is always a little frustrating.  Oh well.  It was fun anyway!  

Uman is a pretty small city and that's where we caught the next bus to the hacienda... only we got to take a combi!  (It functions essentially like a bus but it's the size of a van so it doesn't hold as many people.  They also cost a little more - two pesos.) They always drive around but I kind of thought you had to be in a special group to take them. Turns out you don't!  It was exciting :) 

the "front door" of the hacienda
After 15-20 minutes in the combi we got to Yaxcopoil, which is the hacienda we were going to.  Right next to it was this tiiiiny little pueblo that I took some pictures of :) The hacienda was cool!  The insides of the buildings were decorated with furniture from the time (17th century) and the outside was kind of taken care of but also there were plants growing all over.  I spent the first little while walking around the buildings and taking pictures - Cassy and I decided it would be a good set for a horror movie with all the old stuff :) - and then it was nice to just be able to walk around by myself.  

I love the colors in Mexico!
I walked all around the hacienda and found an old-looking functioning pump thing, some horses, some cows, and an iguana!  It was really pretty there.  Joel, you would've loved the cows... except they were so skinny I thought they were goats at first!  

poor skinny cows.
That was a little weird. I found a man who worked there and asked if the hacienda still functioned in any way, because why else would there be cows and places that looked like functioning gardens?  I must not have said it right because he answered a "what are the cows for?" question. :)  That's the part that didn't make sense, though - he told me they kept the cows to fatten for meat... but those were the skinniest cows in the world!  Maybe they're on a diet :)

me and the hacienda!
When we back to Uman, we saw the missionaries!  It's so exciting to see them here; this was my second time.  Then everyone bought these weird-looking banana ice things and I bought a tasty cantaloupe popsicle from a vendor in the park and we all split up for an hour.  

These tricycle-taxis are everywhere in Uman!
My group went to get some lunch at a place called La Margarita and I ordered two tamales.  They only cost $10 each!  (less than $2US total)  Normally I don't love tamale masa but I decided to try some authentic tamales and they were pretty good. Decent.  I didn't love or finish them, but I'll say this - the masa is different here! Or at least, it was there. Instead of being kind of grainy and corny, it was closer to a gelatinous texture (but was not gelatinous).  It's kind of hard to explain.  I would never order them again from that place, but they were alright.  I didn't take a picture because I wasn't in the mood until I was full and then I didn't even want to look at them anymore :)  Not bad for $1.70US!  

When we got back to the centro, a couple of us went to the market but weren't really in the mood to stay so we headed home after not too long. I was so ready to rest! And was super-thirsty.  I took my big 1.5L bottle almost full and drank it all. 

We have a paper due on Monday 8-10 pages.  Yuck!  Instead of going to the hacienda, Jill decided to go to the school and use the library to focus on her homework better, but I decided to just stay home Friday night and do it.  I was really curious and excited about the hacienda, so I didn't mind staying home Friday night instead of going out.  I didn't get as much done as I would've liked, but it was still pretty good.  I was going to work on/finish my paper and then watch the Hannah Montana movie (it's the only movie I have on my computer and Netflix doesn't work here :) but I ran out of time for the movie. Maybe tomorrow after Celestún!


Annegirl said...

Those cows make me seriously depressed!

Alison said...

I know! Aren't they so sad!

Bethany said...

My favorite parts:

-The guy massaging your hand/arm. I would die. I'm just like that.

-The guy telling you 'what the cows are for'.

-The guy telling you that the cows were being fattened up.

But those poor cows.

Alison said...

Hahahaha - those were my favorite parts, too! The massage guy. Oh man. Probably the funniest story from my trip so far. :D

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