Monday, September 29, 2014

Classic Period of the Mayans

    The classic period of the Mayans is dated from 300-900 A.D. In this time they enacted stelae or monuments that we use to this day to study their history. It's also important to know that the Mayan calendar began on August 11th, 3114 B.C. and was said to have ended on December 21st, 2012.
     The layout of the Mayan cities were similar to ours today. They were hierarchal city-states like DC that were built around a central plaza or plazuela. Several buildings surrounded the plazuela along one or two sides, with a palace, and a ball court. An example of a famous Mayan city is Chichen Itza which was one of the largest cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans. 
     A very interesting thing I learned was that the Mayans were the first to play competitive with a ball. They say the world began with the playing of the ball game, wars were decided by this game, and sometimes to lose the game meant to lose your life.
     Popul Vuh was a very important part of the classic period because it was their book of creation, and it translates to "the council book." This book related the story of the beginning of the world, and adventures of the Hero Twins, which were the central figures of a narrative constituting the oldest Mayan myth to have been preserved in its entirety. The Popul Vuh has not author because it was written by a variety of Mayan priests when the Spanish arrived.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

YOU can change someone's life

     Our speaker today Mr. Kaguri was raised and born in Uganda, Africa. He came to us today to explain why education and family is so important in his country and how one person can make a difference in these people's lives. 37 million people live in Uganda, half are below the age of 15, life expectancy is 47 years old due to the infection from aids, 37,000 people every week contract aids.
     The kids in Uganda can usually only dream to go to school, they must pay, wear school uniforms, pass an exam, and the weirdest thing I heard was that they need a pencil to go to school. My approach to school is much different because I know I will get a good education and don't have to go through many troubles to get it like they do in Uganda. Kaguri went back to Uganda in his village to build a school in 2001 for $5,000, along with a clinic to test people for HIV, and a community library for the kids to be able to read. He educates 678 students which before he came would have never been possible for them. Out of all this I learned that you can make a difference by spending one dollar on a pill that saves mother's from HIV and sending 1/5 of a pencil to each kid can help them go to school.
     Family was a very touching subject that Mr. Kaguri talked about, mostly the grandmothers and their impact on their grandchildren. Grandmothers are usually the ones to take care of the kids because the mom and dad will die early due to aids. The families there struggle each day in the same way as everyone else to get food, education, and most of the time shelter, except for the few wealthy ones which are hard to find. The older people in the family give everything up for the children and to try to keep them safe and healthy. My perception of family isn't as strong and as dependent as theirs is because I was spoiled and got everything I wanted and as I grew older didn't need them to help and support me as much. But the kids in Uganda would depend on family throughout their life until their parents died, then they would have kids to care and nurture for, and would devote their life to helping their kids grow old and successful.