Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gold Star...

...for me!

The last couple of times riding have been a real blast for me. When I began I was afraid of horses--irrationally so, yes, but scared nonetheless. Each lesson I seem to pick up one new thing, and to my astonishment I seem to also remember it the next lesson.

I've said that the most enjoyable thing about riding is the moment or two that I felt just right, and how each lesson that moment got longer and longer.

Well, the last few lessons have been a revelation for me, because they felt just right for most of the lesson! I have come away feeling like I am actually riding, not just sitting on a horse that is moving.

I don't even hold on when trotting now! I don't even think of it. It is work, even a bit of a strain on this old body of mine. I still screw up putting the bridle on, too (but not the saddle). A big break through for my comfort was when I started sitting up straight. And I don't really have to think about what to do--I just do it. One little bit at a time, and I am riding!

Now I even feel confident.I've got a million things to learn (next is trotting without stirrups! Holy shmoly!) but it it has been just one lesson of fun.

So today when I was finished and just gushing about what fun it is and all I told Paula (the world's best instructor) that I felt like I was learning quickly. She said, "Oh yes, you're my prize student." And THAT is why I give myself a gold star today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

11 Lamat

Guatemala, August 2012

I just got over two days of venge Montezuma from my trip to Guatemala. I don't usually suffer that. Maybe it was because Guatemala was never in the Aztec zone and I was supposed to figure out which Maya chief was more appropriate than Moctezuma (spelled correctly).
     I went there as a stand-behind for my friend Don, who went to continue his healing ritual with a Maya curandero.
     You can see a daily blog about it at the site Both Don and I wrote it, but since it is mostly about his adventures it's posted on one of his sites.
Half My Height--our sales person in Pana
     However, here are a few more things are of interest besides our daily adventures.
  • In a week or so, we saw only 3 people smoking cigarettes. I guess that sort of made up for the incredibly horrible auto pollution from the cars.
  • Guatemalans call themselves Chapin, Hondurans are Catrachos, and San Salvadorians are Guanacos. At least that's what the cab driver told us, and I can confirm the Chapin, so I hope I am not insulting anyone else.
  • They use the same accent as in Oaxaca--the ll is pronounced like an English "j" instead of a Spanish "ya." I have been told this is archaic Spanish.
  • My Mayan date-name is 11 Lamat, which translates as Eleven Starshine, Eleven Venus, or 11 Four Colors of Corn
  • We had plenty of opportunity to observe the HMH; or Half my Height. The brutal oppression of the Maya resulted in severe malnutrition which affected their growth. Hence the height of the lady in the photo. Younger Guatemalans are taller.