Wow! There’s a major tropical downpour today. Maybe I’ll have the day off. Glad I’m no longer in the probably leaky palapa-roofed dorm. Good thing I didn’t go diving with Dario and David today. I would have gotten all wet (hah, hah.) I finally got to reuse the rain poncho they gave us at the five-star resort restaurant to go from the restaurant out to our van. That was on my press trip back in Cancun during Hurricane Ida — exciting times — before I arrived at the eco center. Now the rain is coming in waves of downpours — almost as good as the hurricane.
I went to see 2012 the night before last night. It was a major undertaking getting to the movie. First, I missed two different collectivos by seconds and had to wait another 20 minutes for a packed one. I got the last seat in the very back, middle, wedged in next to a very fat guy, so I couldn’t see out very much. They got stuck in terrible traffic into Playa and it took forever. Since I didn’t know where to get off I went into downtown Playa del Carmen only to discover that the movie was about two miles back in the direction I came from. I could have gotten off right across the street from it, had I known, and felt like I walked halfway back to Akumal — along a dark and scary highway with speeding traffic and sometimes no sidewalk. I followed a nice kid for a while, who made me feel less exposed. By the time I found the theater I was soaked with sweat and missed the first 15 minutes of the movie. I didn’t care. I was ready to watch ANY movie. I bought a big, ice-filled Coke and settled in to the seat in the air-conditioned theater. The shopping center Centro Maya Plaza is gigantic, sparkling new and as nice as any U.S. shopping center, complete with two McDonald’s and other American chains.
Well, it was worth the effort. I loved the movie. Best special effects I’ve ever seen. I liked it so much I want to see it again, both because I liked it, plus I missed the beginning. My son says my questionable taste is probably because the movie was in Spanish. Actually, it was in English with Spanish subtitles, which were challenging to translate for the non-English parts like where the Tibetan Buddist rimpoche is telling his student about the end of the world.
Well, I dampened my Thanksgiving spirit by reading about so-called cage-free turkeys. It turns out they live in as despicable conditions as caged turkeys. I suggest you read this AFTER Thanksgiving so you don’t ruin your enthusiasm about a turkey dinner like I did (http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/the-truth-regarding-free-range-turkeys/).
Then after the depressing news about turkeys I had a long, discouraging talk with David, the volunteer coordinator, who’s faced with all kinds of difficulties, including lack of funds, lack of local cooperation, poor education in the schools, rich locals who refuse to follow the rules, dive conessions’ distrust of the organization because not enough has changed, lack of volunteers, lack of decent accommodations because of lack of volunteers, and a whole panoply of woes. It seems like an overwhelming challenge to keep things going here, protect the environment and make some changes.
But on a brighter note I found some excellent chilaquiles, one of my favorite Mexican dishes at Akumalita Loncheria, although my stomach has been feeling icky ever since I ate them.