Poot Chi Kah! Digital Mayans

Poot Chi Kah.  A local Guatemalan exclamation that means “Really?” or “Yah don’t say.”

Our favorite phone slinging Mayan, Rosa Garcia, has just been gifted with a Netbook and is preparing herself to tweet meaningfully.   This upgrade was a long time coming and it is the first part of an Amalgamated Eleemosynary technology grant to her Escuela d’los Globos (one of Rosa’s imminently tweet-able enterprises.)  The grant includes an experimental “museum box.” This is a prototype being developed.  The goal is to mainstream children, who would not otherwise have access to the web, into the on line conversation.  The gift includes an indestructible camera – that looks like it was made for moto-cross – a lot of memory sticks, two batteries and a 500GB hard drive plus a stipend for internet.  Even the little ones can take a turn.

Rosa came down to my studio last week with her husband, Marco, to take a surfing lessons.  In presto tempo, she “got” what to do – she started “friending” her (myriad) cousins while  Marco stewed quietly at my Thinkpad.  He was fussing for a long while when at last, began by sending sweet notes to “Mi Vida” from his newly minted  gmail account.

The Ruins Project finally got wheels with this.  Before we took off for Utatlan, Rosa had assigned each of the twenty kids a number so they could share the new camera as well as the loaner video camera, Ipod, smartphone and the Lumix zoom.  They galloped all over everything with their cameras swinging perilously.

I had hoped they would focus on the restored ball court and begin to discourse on the marvels of the Late Post Classical Period.  But, no.  They liked going in the cave because they heard they could travel all the way to Mexico in the dank tunnels. And, they were much more enchanted with a random snake than with the residue of the Quiche Capital.  The good news is that they did recognize the statue of Tecun Uman as their “great-great-great-great Grandpa.”  It’s a start.

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Author: diane e. dreyfus

on the road until they put the lid down

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