Word of the Day - Black Cat Photography
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December 4, 2008 (Day 313)

Curio: something unusual that is collected

My father has been Indiana Jones for much of my life, right down to the trademark hat. By day, he is a meteorologist, but during his off hours in summer, he has been an archaeologist helping excavate Mayan ruins in Belize. He had participated in local digs around San Antonio when I was a child, and I remember accompanying him on a couple, digging up my own arrowheads. So he shouldn't have been surprised when I grew older and started asking to accompany him on his digs in Belize. But he never took me seriously until I pressed him on it, and last year I finally went.

I spent a week excavating a fascinating site, then my mother came down and swept us away to resorts for a week of recovery. During that time, we visited many other Mayan sites, including Lubaantun, famous for its supposed discovery of a crystal skull. I didn't realize that until we had arrived, and the site keeper gave us a fantastic tour of the grounds and told a wonderful story about the scandal of the skull. Afterward, we followed him and our guide from the resort back to his small office where he showed us a collection of clay whistles he had made, replicas of Mayan artifacts. We'd had such a great time, and his whistles were actually very well made, that we each purchased one, mine being this lovely turtle.

As we left, my mother asked if I would remember how to play it, to which I replied, "Of course, you just blow into its butt." My father couldn't conceal his snort and chuckle. :)