Cara En El Callejon

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On my walk this morning I encountered a group of gorgeous murals in an alley less than ten feet across.  There was no way to see them in their entirety straight on.  I had to walk past them for the full experience.  The project is shaping up similarly.  Many things which seemed so simple and obvious are morphing into different ways of reaching the same result.  I can’t see the whole picture until I walk through it.  Met again with Rene and Juan this morning, and refined the questions we will ask each participant.  I came armed with some basic ideas which were remarkably similar to those Juan brought.  Rene then read through them and improved on all of them.  Together we came up with a set of four questions that should make for interesting responses.  Juan is translating them into Tzutujil now, and we meet again later.  He has already tentatively set up the first two interviews for Monday.  The participants will get a copy of the questions in advance, and will be encouraged to be brief, as we don’t have space to print their entire life stories in three languages, much as I would like to do that.  What the book will evolve into is not certain, but it, like this callejon, will be colorful.

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Progreso

Yesterday, Rene and I met with Juan, who will be my assistant and Mayan language transcriber and translator.  He is also the owner of the printer which will make the books.  We had a good discussion.  We will be working with three lists of potential participants, one drawn up by Celeste, my former maestra and Rabin Ajaw (if you follow that link, you will see photos of the election of the current Rabin Ajaw.  Celeste, the former, is the one wearing the crown.), one by Rene, and one by Juan.  In lieu of my previous method of simply asking each person for a story, we will present them with three or four questions, tailored to what we actually know bout the person in advance.  After the interview and photoshoot, Juan and I will decide which parts of their responses will be the most interesting and descriptive of them.  He will arrange the appointments and give them the questions the day before, so they are somewhat prepared.  We meet this morning to work on exactly what the questions will be.

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