While in the Yucatan, Juan’s favorite sport, right after drinking beer, is rabbit hunting. He had borrowed his uncle’s gun and while he prepared for the hunt, he explained to us how one hunts rabbits in the Yucatan. Evidently it is very different there from anywhere else on earth. Or, at least according to Juan. He drives out to the nearby jungle, parks the car and heads into the brush. He wears a headlamp, similar to a miner’s light. Whenever his light picks up the beady eye of a rabbit glowing at him, he shoots.
And mostly misses. But not always. He did get a total of three rabbits while we were there. We were treated to the sight and sound of him butchering them in the backyard the morning after. Four thuds and the legs came off. Another and gone was the head. I stopped looking when the knife came out for the gutting process. Lizzie was delighted to receive the tails and alternately jumped around pretending they were fluffy ears or used them as powder puffs to apply her imaginary make up. After they were butchered, we were never to see them again. The meat was evidently being saved for some special occasion in the future. Since the dead rabbits had lain all night on the dining room table, getting stiff as boards and not gutted immediately, my feelings were far from hurt.
After Juan left, the girls began their nightly ritual of showering and making themselves presentable for the public eye of Akil. Out came the iron and every piece of clothing that was to be worn was carefully pressed wrinkly free. We felt like slobs, just grabbing a shirt out of the suitcase and giving it a good shake to rid it of wrinkles! One and a half hours after the ritual began, we were ready to leave the house and go “downtown” for dinner.
Since Juan had taken the car, we all piled into the Jeep. Maria directed me to town center and we parked across from the town square. One side was lined with vendor stalls, selling cheap trinkets, jewelry and toys. We met up with one of Maria’s sisters and strolled through the tiny square. After oohing and aahing at all the junk for sale, we crossed the street and entered the only restaurant in town. It was a typical small place filled with plastic tables and chairs. The only food they served was a local favorite called panuchos. Fried tortillas with shredded chicken, avocados and a tomato sauce. Much like the everyday taco but different. They were quite tasty and were only 3 pesos each.
After eating, we headed for the Jeep and returned home. Still no Juan, even though it was close to midnight. Maria said we should just go to bed, he would be hours yet. So we did. Since we had discovered no pillows earlier, we rolled up our bath towels, which we had been smart enough to bring, and fell into the sleep of the exhausted.