Greg and I woke in our hotel in Panajachel for our last full day in Guatemala. After breakfast, we walked around part of Lake Atitlan, marveling at the variety of flowering plants. Sooner than we would have liked, we packed our bags and boarded a hotel shuttle for the three and a half hour ride back to Guatemala City. Three and a half hours seemed short, given the lengths of the trips that got us here; five and a half hours seemed more reasonable. The reason for the difference was that our driver, Alfonso, averaged 100 mph for the whole drive! Even when we once again encountered blinding rain on the pass over the mountains, he only slowed to what we would consider a reckless speed.
The drive, between bouts of car-sickness, gave us time to reflect on the trip. It obviously did not go as expected. Our brief time with Tata confirmed the bonds of friendship and fellowship he feels between him and me and between the Maya and the Wicca. There is definitely a relationship to be nurtured here. (We have been talking about hosting another meeting of Elders later in the year, but that is still in the planning stages.) As it turned out, we spent almost all of our time with Wilma. She, too, is a practitioner of the old Maya ways – one of considerable knowledge & skill. We always talk about the balance of male & female energies (and, or course, everything in between) in the spiritual paths of the people of the Earth, so it was fitting that we experience Wilma’s way of working, having experienced Tata’s. We formed a strong bond of love and respect with her. She shared secrets of the old ways with us. We look forward to working with both her and Tata in the future. I came to meet with a Maya leader and was blessed to end up meeting with two!
We arrived in Guatemala City around 4pm and found our hotel near the airport. Here we have had a chance to relax, get our bags packed, and prepare for the 13 hour flight home (with a layover in Atlanta). We may have time to go to the Archeological Museum or the Popol Vuh Museum before we leave, but probably not. We have one final task we must perform before we leave Guatemala. Yoland Trevino, emeritus Chair of the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, is an indigenous Mayan and was born in Guatemala. Her sister lives near our hotel and will be dropping off family papers for us to deliver to her.
Unless something really interesting happens tomorrow, this’ll be the final report from this trip, but there will be more encounters with the Maya to come. As Tata says, “The Maya and the Wicca are brothers [and sisters].”
I would like to thank my very good friend Greg Stafford, who dropped everything to come with me at the last minute, help with translation, provide spiritual support in & out of ceremony, and generally watched my back as I traveled in a country where I didn’t really know the language or culture.
Don Frew (with Greg Stafford)
CoG National Information Officer