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Monthly Archive for April, 2008

In search of the Resplendent Quetzal

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Searching for the

The quetzal – Headdress of the kings – Our quest – Familiarity breeds contempt. (Map this!)

The Resplendent Quetzal is a beautiful, evasive bird prominent in Mayan art. It belongs to the trogon family, which boasts some very colorful birds. The Quetzal, a turquoise green bird with a brilliant red breast is very hard to see inspite of that. The prominent feature is its tail, upto three feet long, that gives it its distinctive flying profile.

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Muerte y Amor

“In lugar de decir ‘muerte! muerte!’, debemos decir ‘amor! amor!’” – Propietario de El Ranchito de Quetzal

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Love and Bird Watching

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Moon Rise, Tikal

The birth of a bird watcher. On eating Shredded Wheat. Sunrises and loud forest canopies. (Map this!)
For additional pictures of Tikal look at the Slide Shows page.

I have always been interested in wildlife but I was never much of a bird watcher. This changed when Neena came into my life, since she had been interested in birds as a child and had been on numerous bird watching trips. When you meet someone there is always a possibility that what they do or say might change you and when you love someone that possibility is even greater. My cousin Swati gamely tried to eat Shredded Wheat because her boyfriend (now husband) adored it. Love makes us do strange things, beautiful things.

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Great expectations and Great choices

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Expectations and choice in our life – Life in Caye Caulker – Attempts at snorkeling. (Map this!)

Every moment of this trip has been defined by expectations and choice. We set out with a set of expectations about the places we are about to visit – moulded by guidebooks, reports from friends, travel programs on TV, memories from childhood. Every day we are also forced to choose which places to visit, which ones to drop, which also leads to the expectation of having made the right choice.

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The importance of living in the moment

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Living in the moment. The jungle claims Calakmul. The past is forgotten. (Map this!)

For several days, I have been thinking on and off, about the comment Jan made about living in the moment. I was first introduced to this theme when I was studying Sartre several years ago, about our relationship to the past and to the future. What are these places, the past and the future? The future is a fictitious place that can never be reached because it always lies just beyond our realm, our event horizon. The past is an even stranger place, crudely drawn from our very imperfect ability to remember it. It may not even exist at all, as a perfectly consistent world view can follow from the proposition that the world is only five minutes old, brilliantly constructed to appear as if it is billions of years old. Or, for some, 6,000 years old.

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