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Photos and story by Vicki Hoefling Andersen
High on Adventure, August/September 2013



Posted at the Samoan Hideaway Beach Resort Hotel in Western Samoa

Photos by Vicki Hoefling Andersen


1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast them at home, for thou hast left thy home to find them different.




Blending ancient beliefs with modern Catholicism, the Maya make offerings of copal incense, tobacco and flowers on the steps of the Church of Santo Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Inside, rows of votive candles honor departed loved ones. Agnostic though I am, when I visit I burn copal and light a candle in memory of my father. (Highlands of Guatemala   HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa09oct/Vicki/GuatamalaHighlands.htm)




2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously for a carefree mind is the beginning of a vacation.


Isla Mujeres


Isla Mujeres, Mexico (Isla Mujeres: Island of Women 



3. Thou shalt not let the other tourists get on thy nerves - for thou art paying out good money to have a good time.





They call them 11-passenger vans, but in Sayaxche, Guatemala, I gave up counting at 19.
Fortunately I was in another vehicle, and the overloaded van didn’t sink our ferry across the Río La Pasion.
(Life Along the Rio La Pasion  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa07oct/Vicki/Rio%20La%20Pasion.htm)



4. Remember thy passport so that thou knowest where it is at all times - for a man without a passport is a man without a country.





Looking at Guatemala from atop Structure A at the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich, Belize,
(Belize: The Western Frontier  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa07jun/Vicki/Belize.htm)



5. Blessed is the man who can make change in any country, for lo, he shall not be cheated.





Bargaining in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala (Highlands of Guatemala  (HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa09oct/Vicki/GuatamalaHighlands.htm)



6. Blessed is the man who can say thank you in any language - for it shall mean more to him than any tip.

I’d like to add Hello, Please and Excuse Me as the minimum words every traveler should learn.





When you’re begging your buddies to help dig your snowmobile out of a Mt. St. Helens snowdrift,
sometimes there just aren’t enough ways to say “please” or “thank you”!



7. Thou shalt not worry. He that worrieth hath no pleasure - and few things are ever fatal.






Daydreaming at Playa Olas Altas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa05jun/vicki/PV3.htm)



8. Thou shalt when in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans dO. BUT if in difficulty, thou shalt use thy common sense and friendliness.





Renaissance Faires are the perfect place to do as the locals do. Dress in “garb” or not,
but definitely practice up on your “good morrow” (hello), “prithee” (please) and “gramercy” (thank you).
(Renaissance Faires  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa06jun/Vicki/Faire.htm)



9. Thou shalt not judge the people of a country by one person with whom thou hast had trouble.





Trouble: Not. Returning from a four-hour jungle hike uphill and back from the Maya site of Piedras Negras, it was disorienting to find a dozen members of the Guatemalan army hobnobbing with our boatman on the bank of the Usumacinta River. Border between Guatemala and Mexico, the river was once a drug route into Mexico but army patrols have made it a safe(r) place to visit. We invited them to share our lunch, which proved to be a jovial event.



10. Remember thou art a guest in every land. Yea, he that treateth his host with respect shall be treated as an honoured guest.





After the paramount chief of Naselesele, Fiji,  accepted our sevusevu (gift) of waka (dried root of the yagona plant),
his warriors prepared a formal kava ceremony welcoming us into his village.
(Exploring Fiji with Captain Cook  HighOnAdventure.com/hoa11jun/vicki/fijicruise.htm)






Visitors to a Maori village who pass the challenge of a grimacing, shouting, eyes-bulging,
tongue-darting warrior are greeted with the song and music of a powhiri,
formally welcoming the visitor onto their marae, or sacred grounds.
(Maori: Life in the Ring of Fire  highonadventure.com/hoa12dec/maori_life_in_the_ring_of_fire/maori.htm



Throughout your travels, wherever they may take you, always remember “Getting there is half the fun”, and a lot of adventure can definitely be found in the journey…





“Misplaced” in the Petén jungle of northern Guatemala (one hates to say “lost”), our driver/guides hacked a path through the thick vegetation for our vehicles and we finally found the “road” to the ancient Maya city of Naranjo. They had been to this remote site before, but the jungle quickly swallows seldom-used paths making a sharp machete and a stout  tow chain must-haves for the excursion. (Lords of the Petén, Guatemala  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa06apr/Vicki/Peten.htm)





A half-hour whirlybird flight north of Flores, Guatemala, over the nearly impenetrable jungles of the Petén, Paul and Jan Lorraine touch down at the Maya site of El Mirador. The other option to reach this active archaeological dig is a multi-day trek on horseback. Chartering a bird out of Guate City didn’t seem such a bad option.


Truffles the rabbit


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