buried mirror: latest reflections

mesoamerica and the maya world

Category: water

Floods in Tabasco

The Tabasco flooding is the worst in fifty years. Despite governmental action that put the U.S. Katrina response to shame there have been many casualties, and heavy destruction.

Amid heavy rains, President Felipe Calderon ordered in thousands of soldiers, marines, pilots and federal police on Oct. 29, two days before the most damaging flooding hit. When the riverbanks finally burst, inundating some 70% of the city on Oct. 31, there were more than 60 helicopters buzzing through the skies carrying out nonstop rescue and relief missions. Calderon and half his cabinet then touched down in Villahermosa three times in five days, giving televised updates on everything from how to use satellite phones in shelters to the drop points of millions of bottles of water. “The reaction has been very impressive. If there were not such a fast and wide-scale response, the human cost of this tragedy would have been much higher,” said Helena Ranchal, regional head of the European Commission’s emergency relief fund. — Time magazine

Residents are calling for aid. This video gives some sense of the crisis. There are more videos here.

Amoebas

amoebaIf you travel much in areas where the water is questionable, no matter how careful you are sooner or later you’re likely to pick up a case of amoebas. Doctors will treat this with something like flagyl, which I find a nasty business — and one that’s often distressingly ineffective.

I’m not a doctor so I can’t offer medical advice. In fact, the best advice I can give is to find a medical caregiver you trust and consult with that person. So when I tell you what I do, I’m not suggesting you do the same.

What I do is make infusions of wormwood tea, a few cups a day if necessary. Wormwood — Artemesia absinthium — is known for its use in absinthe. You can grow the plant or buy the dried leaves at health food stores. A strong wormwood tea is a kind of poison. In my experience it’s one that seems to control amoebas, without the side effects of prescription medicines.

One caution: wormwood is said to be the second most bitter substance there is (after vetch, I think). If you drink this stuff, you might want to swallow it fast (and then do the wormwood full-body shudder — perfect for dia de muertos).

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amoeba image from wikipedia

Hot waterfall

a hot waterfall in the rio dulce / lake izabal region of guatemala

Sometime I would like to visit this hot waterfall at Agua Caliente, Finca El ParaĆ­so, in Guatemala’s Lake Izabal/Rio Dulce area. The water falling from the hot springs above is said to be extremely hot. The river water is cool. Behind the spray there is supposed to be a pleasant saunalike pool.

Nearly all the photos on this site are mine, but this, obviously, is not one of them. It’s from justin.slammer’s flickr photostream.

There is a brief account of visiting the falls at AdventureTravelLogue.

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