Wednesday, June 1, 2011

El Viaje De Su Vida English Translation

Chapter 1

         Carlos Ayala is on a trip. It is the trip of his life. The trip is a gift from his parents. He is going to go on the trip with his parents and his sister. His sister is called Teresa. They are going on a cruise  in the Caribbean Sea. The cruise is going to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. 
         Carlos and Teresa and their parents board ( the only word that means "board" in Spanish directly translates to: "to be raised onto") the cruise in Miami. Florida is beautiful. It is not like Cincinnati, where the family Ayala live. It is a tropical place with many palm trees for all of its parts. 
         The cruise is fabulous. It is large and white. When the Ayala family board the boat, they see many people. The people are wearing tourist clothes. All those who work at the cruise are wearing white clothes-- white shirts and shorts. One of the women is shouting: "Welcome to the party!"
         "This boat is beautiful," says Carlos's mom. She is speaking very loudly. Carlos is embarrassed because he thinks that they all can hear the words of his mother. Her voice is very strong.
         "Beautiful," Carlos's dad says to his wife.
         "The name of the boat is La Fiesta because each day is like a party when we are here," says the woman. 
          The Dad laughs and says, "I like this ship and I like parties."
         Carlos and Teresa look and laugh. They think that their father is a little crazy at times.
         They all go to their rooms. The Ayala family goes to their room. It is very small. The beds are very small and there is a tiny bathroom as well. Everything is blue. Carlos is very tall. When he enters the room, he has to lower his head, because the door is not very tall. 
         "This hotel is very cheap. But it's in the water," says Carlos.
         "The small room isn't important. The people who vacation on the cruise don't spend much time in the room," says Carlos's mom. "On the boat there are dances, movies, elegant meals, and much more. They have everything here. Where you sleep is not important."
         "Yes. In the cruise you can eat twenty-four hours a day. Let's go to eat now," says the Dad. He is always hungry.
         "Yes, let's go. I'm hungry!" shouts Teresa. Teresa is always hungry also.
         When the boat leaves, they go out to find food. The boat is very big. It is very difficult to find food. There are many people. They all wear pretty clothes and have happy faces. The Ayalas walk for a long time. After they look for ten minutes, they find a restaurant. The waiter is very big with white teeth and long and straight/smooth hair. When he sees them, he calls out to them: 
         "Hello! What do you all (formal) need?"
         "A hamburger," says the dad.
         "I want an orange juice and a ham sandwich," says the mom.
         "I want a pizza with much cheese," says Teresa.
         "And I, a large Coca-Cola," says Carlos.
         The waiter smiles and returns to the kitchen.
         "Look at the ocean. It is very beautiful," says the dad.
         They all observe the sea. It is a pretty blue color and all can see the sun in the distance. The father says:
         "There isn't nothing like this in Ohio."
         "It is very true, Dad. There isn't nothing in Ohio," responds Teresa.
         "Don't say that, Teresa. Ohio is pretty and it is where we live," says the mom.
         Carlos studies all the people there in the restaurant. There is another family with three children. They are eating a large pizza. There are also three old women in the table next to them. They are playing  at cards and drinking Coca-Cola. There are some couples as well. One couple is old. Carlos thinks that they are grandparents. There is another couple walking in bathing suits. They have black hair. They are very good-looking but they do not speak to themselves. Carlos thinks that they have a small problem because they never speak. They don't say anything.
         Afterwards Carlos's eyes see a woman in the corner. She is tall. She has long, straight hair. Her hair is very different because it is purple. She wears a blue dress with a white sweater. She has tiny arms and her lips also are of a purple color. She isn't beautiful but Carlos keeps on looking.
         "Look at this woman," says Carlos. "Keep looking at her. She is the first woman that I see with purple hair."
         "I agree, Carlos. She is very different. And very skinny," says Teresa.
         "Here you have the meal. There is a hamburger, pizza, Coca-Cola and an orange juice. There is also a ham sandwich," says the waiter when he arrives with the food.
         They all eat and they all talk. They talk of the cruise and the ocean.  They talk of Ohio and Florida and Mexico. Carlos doesn't listen. He is observing this woman, the women with the purple hair. Teresa is right. The woman really is different. She has tiny arms. She is like an insect. Her arms and legs and like the arms and legs of an insect.
         The insect woman is sitting next to a couple in the next table over. Carlos wonders: "Is she the daughter (of them)?"
         She talks to them. Carlos tries to listen but doesn't hear anything. The woman smiles and laughs. Afterwards the insect woman does something. It is not normal. Carlos is surprised. The insect woman puts her hand under the table and grabs something.  Carlos cannot see the thing that she grabs but he knows that she has something in her hand. He tries to see it. He cannot see anything. In an instant Carlos sees a brilliant light. The light is like the reflection of a diamond. The insect woman puts the thing in the pocket of her dress.
         Carlos thinks that the insect women is stealing something. He thinks that she is not the daughter of them. She is a thief. She is stealing something from them. It is terrible because she is stealing something important from this old couple.
         Carlos tries not to look. He thinks that he should not look but it is impossible. He looks and keeps looking.
         Carlos looks at the insect woman and the insect woman looks at him. He does not like the eyes of the woman. They are bad, cruel eyes. He thinks that they are the eyes of a thief. Possibly they are the eyes of a person that kills. Definitely they are the bad eyes of a bad person.
         The woman gets up and walks slowly. She walks like a person who has no worries. She walks like a person who does not steal and never steals.  Carlos thinks: "Oh, no. Oh, no."
         The mom looks at Carlos and says: "Carlos, what's the matter? Are you sick?"
         Carlos listens to his mom and wakes up from his daydream.
         "No, mom, I'm good. I am very good. I am not sick. I like the cruise."
         Carlos drinks his Coca-Cola but he doesn't feel good. He feels bad, very bad.
         Now the insect woman leaves the restaurant. She has something in her hands or in the pocket of her dress. Carlos knows she has something. The woman has the appearance of a bad person. Only Carlos knows why.

Chapter 2

         They all are eating. They all are hungry. All except Carlos. Carlos can only think of the insect woman. He doesn't think in nothing more than she. He doesn't say anything to anyone about her. He doesn't know what to do. Who is she? Why does she steal? Why did she steal something from this old woman? What did she steal? Should he talk with some other person about her? But, with whom? They don't have police on the cruise. Carlos thinks about all this when the family walks to the restaurant to eat in the evening.
         They sit down at the table. There are places for six people. Carlos doesn't know who is going to sit in the other places. 
         "I'm hungry," says the dad. "The food is good. It is good in all the cruises."
         "Of course the food is good," says the mom. We are in a ship named "La Fiesta". The food has to be good.
         "Do they have pizza?" asks Teresa. "I want to eat pizza."
         Teresa likes pizza more than anything (Note: In Spanish, “nada”, the word for “nothing”, can also mean “anything”). She only eats pizza. She doesn’t want to eat another thing. Carlos and his family eat the bread that is on the table. While they eat, two people come and sit at the same table. Carlos is very surprised when he sees who they are. It is the old couple.
         “Hello,” says the old woman.
         She smiles at them. She is very nice and she is a bit fat. She is very similar to a grandmother.
         “I am María Mendoza.”
         “And I am Hugo Mendoza.”
         The man is very old. He doesn’t have much hair. He also smiles a lot.
         “We are the family Ayala,” says the Dad. “Nice to meet you. I am Robert and this is my wife Mónica. These are our children. The boy is Carlos and the girl is Teresa.”
         “It’s a pleasure,” says Mrs. Mendoza.
         She looks at Carlos and Teresa.
         “Your children are very good-looking,”
         Mrs. Mendoza is like his grandmother. She smiles like her and she talks like her. Carlos feels like a child of four years.
         “It’s a pleasure to eat with you all (formal). The cruise is pretty, no?” says the Mom.
         “Yes. Everything is very beautiful,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “And it is a pleasure to eat with you all (formal).”
         “It is very good to meet people like you all (formal),” says Mister Mendoza. “Where are you from?”
         “We are from Cincinnati. We are from Ohio,” says the father. “And you all (formal)?”
         “We live in Los Angeles now. We have many years in the United States. Really we are from an island in Mexico. It is called Cozumel. It is close to Cancun. We are excited because we go to visit Mexico. It is the first time in many years. The boat is going to be in Cozumel tomorrow.”
         “How is Cozumel?” asks the mother.
         Mr. Mendoza talks much of Cozumel and of Mexico. He says that it is a tropical island. There are many pretty beaches. There are many tourists. There are many plants. The ocean is very pretty. The water is very pretty and clear. There are many corals and fish. It is never cold.
         “It is the land of the Mayas,” says Mrs. Mendoza. She talks very fast like an excited person.
         “Who are the Mayas?” asks Teresa.
         “You don’t know the Mayas?” asks Mrs. Mendoza.
         “The ancient Mayas? They are alive now?” asks Teresa.
         “There are many Mayas now. The Mayas eat Mayan food. They speak Mayan. They do much of what the ancient Mayas used to do. We are Mayas. And we are a great people,” answers Mrs. Mendoza.
         “It’s true,” responds Carlos. “We studied the Mayas in our Spanish class.”
         Carlos knows a lot about their cities and their religion. Carlos knows that the Mayas used to be very good at mathematics. The Mayan alphabet did not used to be an alphabet with letters. It used to be a pictorial alphabet. They used to dominate a big part of Mexico and Central America for many years.
         “I have a special reason to visit Mexico,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “I have a present for my sister. She lives in Mexico until now.”
         “A present?” asks Carlos.
         “Yes. It’s a necklace. It’s a necklace from my grandmother. I don’t have children but I have a necklace. The necklace is part of my family. I want to give it to my sister Susana. Afterwards she can give it to her daughter,” says Mrs. Mendoza.
         Carlos feels sad. Now he knows that that woman stole the necklace from Mrs. Mendoza. It is a family necklace, a special necklace, a very old necklace. Carlos becomes very angry when he thinks in this.
         “We want to give her the necklace in Chichén Itza,” says Sra. Mendoza.
         “Chichén pizza? What’s that?” asks Teresa.
         “Chichén Itza is an ancient city of the Mayas. We are going to see it tomorrow or the following day,” says Carlos.
         “I know. I know,” says Teresa.
         “The castle there is a pyramid. It is the most impressive of the ruins,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “In the Mayan pyramid is where I want to give the necklace to my sister. It is a very special place for we Mayas.”
         “How good,” says Teresa. “A pyramid. Is it very old, like the pyramids of Egypt?”
         “Yes, it is very old,” says Mister Mendoza. “The castle and Chichén Itza were there many years before Christopher Columbus.”
         “How interesting,” replies Teresa. “The castle and Chichén Itza are old, older than our father.” Teresa laughs but her father doesn’t laugh. Nor does he smile neither.
         “Chichén Itza is a very special place for the Mayas,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “My sister goes to there and we go to give her the necklace. I am very excited to see my sister. I haven’t seen her for many years.”
         Carlos does not know what to do. Should he talk with the Mendozas of the woman? He looks at Sra. Mendoza’s eyes. She is very nice. Carlos cannot give her the bad news of the necklace. If she knows that she does not have the necklace, she is going to be very sad. Carlos is going to find the necklace. He is going to find that women. Carlos is going to find the necklace and give it to Mrs. Mendoza.
        
 Chapter 3

         “You are in a bad mood. Why are you in a bad mood?” Teresa asks Carlos.
         Teresa is angry with Carlos. Carlos is worried about the Mendozas. He worries so much that he doesn’t have fun on the cruise. All of the family has fun except Carlos. The others go to dance but Carlos does not go with them. The parents watch the sea but Carlos doesn’t accompany them. Now Carlos wants to find the insect woman. After eating Carlos walks everywhere on the boat looking for the insect woman.
         “Carlos, come with us. Have fun. We are going to play. Don’t be in a bad mood,” says Teresa.
         “Don’t bother me, Teresa. I am thinking about more important things,” says Carlos.
         “For example?” asks Teresa. “Are you thinking about to walk a bit or to sleep? Carlos, we are on a cruise in the Caribbean Sea. We are on the cruise to have fun. But you don’t have fun. You don’t do nothing. You need to live, Carlos.”
         “Teresa, I don’t have time to have fun. I have important things to do,” responds Carlos.
         “Oh, yes, yes, like walking very worried through the boat,” says Teresa.
         “It is not that,” says Carlos.
         “What? What is it?” asks Teresa.
         “It’s a secret,” says Carlos.
         “I love secrets. Tell me your secret. I won’t tell anybody. I promise you,” says Teresa,
         “Teresa, please, don’t tell our parents. Do you agree?”
         “I won’t tell anybody. Your secret is my secret,” repeats Teresa.
         “Do you remember that different woman? The woman that has the appearance of an insect.”
         “The strange woman with the purple hair?”
         “Yes, her,” says Carlos. Carlos tells her everything. He says that the insect woman stole a special necklace from the Mendoza family.
         “This is terrible!” shouts/screams Teresa. “We have to find this terrible woman.”
         “Where is she? I’ve been looking for her for a long time. I don’t find her.”
         “How stupid you are, Carlos! You don’t know where to look,” says Teresa. “She isn’t going to walk through the boat. I think she goes to the popular places. She goes to the midnight parties. She goes to the cruise shows in the night.”
         “Teresa, you’re the one who knows everything. Where is she?”
         “She’s in the midnight buffet. It’s amazing. Everyone goes and they wear elegant clothes. There is super good music and phenomenal food. She is going to be there. It’s certain.”
         “It’s possible, Teresa,”
         “Let’s go, Carlos. Let’s go to find her.”
         “I agree. Let’s go.”
         “And Carlos, have fun. Smile.”
         There are all kinds of food everywhere in the midnight buffet.  There are meat and cheese, fish and chicken, bread and butter, ice cream and cake, Mexican food, Italian food, French food, food from everywhere. Food! Food! Food!
         There are many people at the dinner. The people wear elegant clothes. They are all laughing and smiling. It is a tremendous party.
         A Mexican group is playing music. The group is called El Norteño (The Northern Person). Everyone is dancing.
         Teresa is right. Everyone goes to the midnight meal. Carlos wants to see the insect woman.
         Carlos gets an ice cream. Teresa gets pizza with lots of cheese. Both eat with pleasure.
         “This food is marvelous,” says Teresa.
         “This is very fun,” says Carlos. “I’m happy.”
         While he eats, he looks for the insect woman.
         “Do you see your thief?” asks Teresa.
         “Not yet,” says Carlos.
         “She is going to come. Everyone comes to the midnight meal,” replies Teresa.
         “I already see. There are many people here.”
         “Do you like the music?” asks Teresa. “They’re singing in Spanish.”
         “Yes. I like it,” says Carlos.
         “I want to dance, Carlos. I don’t know how to dance. Let’s go dance. You can teach me to dance,” says Teresa.
         Carlos eats his ice cream and Teresa eats her pizza. Both leave to dance. Carlos teaches Teresa to dance. He thinks that it is strange to dance with his sister but it doesn’t matter. The sisters have to dance too.
         “You dance very well,” says Carlos.
         “Really?” asks Teresa.
         Carlos is dancing when he sees the insect woman. He cannot believe it. There she is, seated at a table eating bread, cheese, and ice cream. She is alone at the table.
         “Teresa,” says Carlos, “look. There is the insect woman.”
         Teresa looks.
         “You are right,” she says. “This night she looks even more an insect in that long and black dress.”
         “Yes, it’s true,” says Carlos. “What do I do now? Do I call the police? Do I talk with the captain? Do I talk with our parents?”
         “Talk with her,” says Teresa. “Tell her that you know that she stole the necklace. She’s going to give the necklace to the Mendozas. I am sure.”
         Carlos is scared. He doesn’t want to talk with them.  And he doesn’t want to talk with that bad woman. He is scared of her.
         “I know what to do,” says Teresa. “Talk with her and invite her to dance with you. You can talk with her while you all (formal) dance.”
         “I don’t know,” says Carlos. “I don’t want to dance with her.”
         “Carlos, it’s important. The Mendozas need your help.”
         Carlos walks toward the insect woman.
         “Excuse me,” he says. “Do you want to dance?”
         The insect woman is very surprised. She says to Carlos:
“You are very young for me. How old are you?”
         “It doesn’t matter,” responds Carlos.
         The insect woman is young but not as young as Carlos. She has some 25 or 30 years.
         The insect woman smiles. She smiles with the mouth but she doesn’t smile with the eyes. Finally she says:
         “Well yes, let’s go to dance. I like the music.”
         Carlos walks with her. He is scared. He wants to talk with her but he doesn’t know what to say to her.
         Carlos and the insect woman talk while they dance. Her name is Liba Tyler. She lives in New York. She wants to go to Mexico in order to see Chichén Itza. She doesn’t talk to Carlos of her job but Carlos knows that she is a thief.
         They dance two times. Afterwards Liba says to Carlos:
         “I believe that I know you. I believe that I remember. You were in this cruise yesterday.”
         Carlos is more scared than ever. He says:
         “You stole a necklace. I know that you stole a necklace. I know that you have it now.”
         Liba Tyler does not dance anymore. With cold eyes she looks at Carlos. She says:
         “You don’t know anything.”
         “Give me the Mendozas’ necklace!” shouts Carlos.
         Liba looks him in the eyes.
         “Look, little boy, do not talk more of that. You are going to have problems. You are going to have many problems. No more. NO MORE!” screams/shouts Liba.
         Liba goes. Carlos is very angry. He wants to return to his bedroom. He doesn’t want to talk of anything. He doesn’t want to dance. He only wants to sleep.

Chapter 4

“We are in Cozumel! I love Cozumel!” screams/shouts the mother while they walk through the streets of San Miguel. San Miguel is the only city on the island. Really it is not a city. It is a town.
         “It is beautiful,” says the father. “It is like the Mendozas said. Look at the sea. It is gorgeous. I love the color blue.”
         Today Carlos, Teresa and the parents leave for the ruins of the ancient Mayan city. They leave in order to see Chichén Itza. Carlos is very excited because he is going to see the castle. He wants to see a city that is 2,500 years old. Nobody lives in Chichén Itza now. The Ayalas walk rapidly through the streets of San Miguel. They need to get to the boat that goes for Playa del Carmen (Carmen Beach). Playa del Carmen (Carmen Beach) is on the Yucatán peninsula. On Playa del Carmen (Carmen Beach) they are going to take a bus for Chichén Itza.
         While they walk, Carlos sees a policeman in the street.
         “You all (formal) wait a moment!” he shouts to the others. “I am going to talk with this policeman for a moment.”
         “Okay,” responds the Mom. “We are going to wait for you in this store. I want to buy a shirt that says “Mexico”. The parents and Teresa go to the store.
         Carlos walks towards the policeman. The policeman is seated in his car. He is fat with curly hair and small eyes. Carlos talks with him about the Mendozas’ necklace and the insect woman.
         “It is very sad,” replies the policeman. “The poor Mendoza family. I am very sorry but I cannot help you. You need to talk with a cruise official. He or she can help you much more than I.”
         “Please, mister policeman. You (formal) have to do something. The Mendozas are old. That woman is terrible. She is a thief.”
         “I can’t help you. You have to find an American policeman. He can help you,” says the Mexican policeman. “I can not pursue the robbers that come from the United States. It is a lot of work and afterwards they return to the United States and I don’t have anything.  Do you understand? It is a lot of work for nothing. Talk with the captain of the cruise. He can help you.”
         “Thank you,” says Carlos with an angry voice. He goes sad and disappointed.
         “That’s the way it is? The police from here aren’t going to help,” thinks Carlos. There aren’t police on the cruise. Carlos can’t do anything. When he/she (it is not clear whether the author is referring to a “he”, Carlos, or a “she”, Liba Tyler) goes to the United States, he can’t do anything. The Mendozas are going to return to Los Angeles. The Ayalas are going to return to Cincinnati. And Liba Tyler is going to return to New York with the Mendozas’ necklace. Carlos tries not to think of this. He is not going to think more of it while he is in Mexico. Possibly in the United States he can do something.
         Carlos returns to his family. They walk towards the boat. The boat is ready to leave. Carlos and his family board the boat.
         “Hello, Carlos,” says a voice on the boat. Carlos looks towards behind and sees the Mendozas. “It is a pleasure to see you again,” continues Mr. Mendoza.
         “The pleasure is mine,” responds Carlos. “Are you happy to be here in Mexico?”
         “I am not happy. I am not happy at all,” says Mr. Mendoza.
         Carlos knows why the Mendoza family isn’t happy but he does not say anything (to them).
         “What a shame. This is a special day. Today you all (formal) are going to see Chichén Itza,” says Carlos.
         “Things aren’t going well. We have a big problem. We don’t know where the family necklace is.”
         “Yes, it is terrible,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “I want to cry.”
         “We are going to look for it and we are going to find it,” says Mr. Mendoza.
         “I am sad because today is the day I want to give this (extra) special gift to my sister. I can send it by Federal Express but it isn’t the same,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “My sister and I are Mayas. The necklace is Mayan. We are in the land of the Mayas. I want to give her the special necklace in the land of the Mayas.”
         “I am very sorry,” says Carlos. He smiles but he doesn’t say anything more.
         The boat leaves for Playa del Carmen (Carmen Beach). They all watch the sea. Nobody is sick except the Dad. The Dad is very happy when they arrive at the port of Playa Del Carmen (Carmen Beach). They get off the boat and they go directly to the bus that is going to transport them to Chichén Itza.
         The bus passes by the jungle. There are many plants and trees. It is a very large jungle. It is very hot and the air is very humid. They pass by small towns and they look at the people working. The men are wearing guayaberas and the women are wearing huipiles. The guayaberas are shirts with four pockets. The huipiles are white dresses. They are amazingly white.
         After three and a half hours the bus arrives at Chichén Itza. They all get off. Carlos is observing. Carlos observes Liba when she gets off of the bus. She is smiling. She is wearing a white T-shirt with blue shorts. She is wearing a bag on the shoulders. “Is the necklace in the bag?” asks Carlos.
         Carlos sees poor Mrs. Mendoza. She is so sad because she does not have the necklace. Carlos sees the insect woman, Liba. He has to find the necklace for Mrs. Mendoza.
         In an instant Carlos runs toward Liba.
         “Thief!” he screams/shouts. He looks at Mrs. Mendoza and screams/shouts:
         “That woman has your necklace!”
         Mrs. Mendoza turns pale. She is scared.
         “I am sure. She stole it. She stole it on the cruise.”
         “Son, what are you saying? Are you crazy?”
         “No, Dad. This woman stole the necklace!” screams/shouts Carlos. Carlos turns around but Liba isn’t (there). Carlos sees that she is running toward the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itza.

Chapter 5

         “Mom! Dad! That woman is a thief!” screams/shouts Carlos. “Mrs. Mendoza, that woman has your (formal) necklace. She stole it from your bag when we were on the cruise.”
         “How bad!” shouts/screams Mrs. Mendoza. “What can we do?”
         “Let’s find a policeman,” says the Mom. “The police can find her.”
         “Mónica,” says Mr. Mendoza, “this bad woman is not (here). She is in the jungle. The jungle has many trees. It is impossible to find her in the jungle.”
         “Yes, it is true,” says Mrs. Mendoza. “It is impossible to find her in the jungle. There are many plants, trees, and animals.”
         “But she can not escape,” says Teresa. “She is a thief and she has the evidence.”
         “Later we can find the police but now we are going to find her,” says Carlos. “She can’t escape. We are many and she is one.”
         “No more. No more,” replies Mrs. Mendoza. “We are in Mexico. We are in Chichén Itza. I am happy because I am going to see my sister. It is a beautiful day. I don’t want to think about that bad woman.”
         “Yes, María, you are right,” says Mrs. Ayala. “Let’s go to find Susana and forget about the insect woman. Let’s go to find the insect woman tomorrow.”
         Mr. and Mrs. Mendoza hold hands and walk slowly through the street. They are sad when they think about the necklace but they try not to think about it. The Ayala family walks through the street as well. A group of children runs toward them.
         “Do you all (formal) want to buy Coca-Cola?”
         The little girls walk with necklaces and wear dresses of many colors.
         “Do you all (formal) want to buy necklaces or games?” ask the little girls.
         The children are very pretty. The Ayala family buys some things.
         Carlos buys water. It is much hotter in Mexico than in Ohio. Carlos wants to drink ten bottles of water. The entire group buys water. They all are hot and they are all thirsty. The water is very good. The children are very happy for the money that they receive.
         In a few minutes the Ayala family is in the ancient city of Chichén Itza. It is exciting to be in an ancient city. It is difficult to believe that the Mayas of Chichén Itza lived here thousands of years ago. There isn’t much in the United States that is thousands of years old.
         They enter and they go to Caracol. It is very big. The Mayas studied the stars from Caracol. The Mayas thought that astronomy was very important. They thought that they met the gods when they studied the stars. Later the Ayalas are going where the Mayas used to play a game very similar to American football. There is a difference. If you didn’t win in this game, you lost your head. Carlos is happy because he didn’t live in that time.
         It’s exciting to be in Chichén Itza. The Ayala family learns a lot about the people that used to live there long ago. But Carlos is thinking about the Mendozas. He is very worried for their problems. He is sad for them. Carlos understands why Mrs. Mendoza wants to give the necklace to her sister here. Chichén Itza is big and very pretty. It is phenomenal. The most fantastic of all is the castle.
         The castle is big—huge.  Carlos looks at it and thinks of the Egyptian pyramids. There is an obvious difference between the Egyptian pyramids and the Mayan pyramid. The Mayan pyramid is flat on top. Carlos and Teresa want to climb the castle but it is very hot. They decide to sit down under a tree and drink a soft drink.
         Later Carlos and Teresa climb the castle. The steps are small because the Mayas are small. Carlos’s feet are very big. But he and Teresa climb. It is very hot but they climb and climb. They want to see the city from up on top. They count the steps. There are 91. Each step represents a day of the year. The pyramid has four sides. And each side has 91 steps. After comes the last step on the higher part. This step represents the day number 365 of the year.
         After some minutes they are in the higher part of the pyramid. They look at everything. Everything is very beautiful. There are many trees. There are many pretty plants. Chichén Itza is very impressive from above. All the tourists look. They look at the most ancient part of Chichén Itza. They are very impressed with all that they see.
         “I don’t like it,” says Teresa. “The pyramid is too high,”
         “I like it,” says Carlos. “It’s fantastic,”
         “Yes, but I’m scared,” says Teresa. “I don’t like very high places. I’m going to go down.”
         “Yes, it is very high,” says Carlos. “Is it possible to fall from here?”
         “If a person falls, (he or she) dies,” says Teresa.
         Teresa starts to get down from the castle.
         Carlos doesn’t go down. In an instant a person grabs his neck. He can’t breathe.
         “You are the cockroach. You say everything to everyone. You think that you know a lot,” he or she says. It is Liba Tyler. Carlos is scared. Carlos is very scared. In all of his life he has never been more scared.
         Now Liba lets go of his neck and Carlos can breathe.
         “Carlos, you are going to fall from the castle. You are going to be very famous because you are going to die in Chichén Itza. What are your parents going to think? Are they going to cry? And your sister? What is she going to think? She is not going to have a brother. She is going to be alone with your parents. It is very sad, Carlos. Your sister is going to cry when you fall from the castle. Poor Carlos—dead and only 16 years old. It is very sad.
         “You are bad!” screams/shouts Carlos. “You rob and now you are a murderer!”
         “I am not a murderer,” answers Liba. “Now I am not but we don’t know the future.”
         Liba laughs. She laughs like a very bad person. Liba is not simply the insect woman. She is worse than an insect. There is nothing worse than the insect woman.
         “Please! I want to leave!” screams/shouts Carlos. “Please! I want to leave now!
         Liba grabs a knife and puts it in front of Carlos’s neck. She walks towards the edge of the castle. Liba and Carlos are very, very close to the edge.
         “I want to leave!” screams/shouts Carlos.
         “It is not possible. You know too much. The Mendozas’ necklace is not a normal necklace. It is not a typical necklace. It is very ancient and worth millions of dollars.”
         “How do you know?” says Carlos. Carlos wants to talk with Liba. While Liba is talking, she isn’t pushing.
         “I know Rosina Mendoza. She told me everything about the necklace,” she answers.
         “Rosina Mendoza? Who is she?” asks Carlos.
         “She is the daughter of Susana. Mrs. Mendoza wants to give the necklace to her. But it is not possible. Not now. The necklace is mine. They don’t have the necklace.”
         “What kind of woman are you?” screams/shouts Carlos. “You rob an old woman.”
         “I am a bad woman,” answers Liba. “I am very bad. But I am going to be a bad and rich woman. I am going to be rich if you don’t do anything. But if you talk with the police, I am not going to be rich.”
         Carlos closes his eyes. He doesn’t know what to do. If he tries to escape, he can fall from the castle. He thinks of his body falling from the castle. If he falls, he dies.
         Carlos does not know what to do but he knows that he is too young to die.
        
Chapter Six

         “Carmen Ochoa, let go of the knife. The boy can go.”
         Carlos hears the voice of a man. He doesn’t know Carmen Ochoa. And he doesn’t know who the man that talks is because his eyes are closed and he doesn’t know the voice.
         After Carlos opens his eyes. He sees a fat man. It’s the policeman of Cozumel. He can not believe it.
         “Carmen, don’t be stupid,” says the policeman. “Let go of the boy.”
         “No,” says Liba, “the boy is going to die.”
         The policeman is very calm.
         “Carmen, you have many problems. You don’t need more problems. Let go of the boy.”
         Carlos hears everything. He thinks: “Her name is Carmen. Her name isn’t Liba. Who is Liba?”
         “Give me the knife, Carmen,” says the policeman.
         Carmen lets go of the knife. The policeman picks it up.
         “That’s good, Carmen. Now, let go of the boy.”
         Carmen takes her hand off from Carlos’s neck. She pushes Carlos towards the police.
         “You are a cockroach!” screams Carmen.
         Carlos doesn’t care what Carmen screams. He is very happy to be alive. He didn’t fall from the highest part of the castle.
         The policeman grabs Carlos.
         “Carmen, why do you do this? Do you never learn?”
         Two policemen more climb the highest part of the castle. They grab Carmen by the arm. They talk to her but Carlos doesn’t hear.
         Carlos walks very slowly. He feels sick and his legs are very tired.
         “Are you okay, boy?” asks the fat policeman.
         Carlos doesn’t feel good but he doesn’t want to admit it.
         “I’m fine. Nothing is wrong with me,” says Carlos.
         “You are a bit pale,” says the policeman. “Can you get down off the pyramid without a problem?”
         “Yes, I can get down. It is much better to come down by foot instead of coming down through the air.”
         The policeman laughs. Carmen does not laugh. The policeman climbs down very slowly with Carmen. Carmen does not escape. Carlos climbs down with very tired legs.
         When they arrive below, another policeman comes and Carmen goes with him. The fat policeman accompanies Carlos towards his family. Carlos is very happy when he looks at his family.
         The policeman says:
         “Your (formal) son is a hero.”
         “Who? Carlos?” asks Teresa. “I don’t believe it.”
         The policeman smiles at Teresa and says:
         “Yes, it’s true. Carlos helped us to capture a very bad person.”
         “Carlos? Is it true?” asks the Dad.
         When the Mom looks at Carlos she says:
         “Carlos, are you okay?”
         “I’m okay, Mom. Nothing is wrong with me.”
         “Carmen Ochoa is a robber. She is a very bad person. She steals necklaces and watches from many people. She always robs old people. She always robs American tourists.”
         “How terrible!” says the Mom.
         “I talked with Carlos in Cozumel. I thought that it was not anything. Afterwards I thought of Carmen Ochoa,” explains the policeman.”
         “But Liba is from New York or Carmen is from New York,” says Carlos. “How did you (formal) know her name?”
         “All the policemen in Mexico know her,” says the fat policeman. “She doesn’t live in New York and she isn’t American. She lives in Mérida or Cozumel or Cancún. If there are tourists in a city, Carmen lives there. Carmen lives in all the cities that have tourists. She is a terrible thief. She robs many. She robs many tourists.”
         “So her name isn’t Liba,” says Carlos.
         “No. She uses many different names,” says the policeman.
         “Why are you (formal) in Chichén Itza?” asks the Mom.
         “After talking with Carlos in Cozumel, I came to Chichén Itza. I needed to know if the boy was talking of Carmen. When I arrived at Chichén Itza, I knew that it really was the famous Carmen Ochoa,” answers the policeman from Cozumel.
         “I like it,” says Teresa. “My brother… a hero.”
         “You really are a hero,” says the Mom.
         “Well done, son,” says the Dad.
         “Yes, Carlos, really well done, very well done,” says Teresa.
         While they all talk, the Mendoza family looks at Carlos’s family. Another old woman is with them there is also a very young and pretty girl with them.
         “María, we have very important information for you all (formal),” says the Mom.
         “Hello. This is my sister Susana and this is her daughter Rosina,” says Mrs. Mendoza.
         “Nice to meet you,” they all say. Carlos looks at Rosina.
         “What information do you all (formal) have for me?” asks Mrs. Mendoza.
         “Carlos, tell them,” says the Dad.
         “The police found the necklace,” says Carlos, “and arrested the thief as well.”
         Mrs. Mendoza is made very happy. She is very excited and asks:
         “Where is it?”
         One of the policemen walks toward them. In his hand he has a beautiful necklace. The necklace is of gold. It has the appearance of a star of gold with jade on the points and a diamond in the middle.
         Mrs. Mendoza takes the necklace. Now she is very happy.
         “Thank you,” she says to Carlos and to the policeman. “Thank you for everything. Thank you for finding the necklace.
         “You’re welcome,” says Carlos.
         “It’s nothing,” says the policeman.
         “What do you all (formal) say?” ask Mrs. Mendoza, Susana, Rosina, and Mr. Mendoza. “Do you all (formal) want to climb the castle like our ancestors?”
         “Yes,” they all say, “and up on top we can give the necklace to Rosina.”
         “This is a very special day for them,” says the  Mom, “thanks to Carlos.”
         Carlos turns red.
         “Let’s go eat,” says Carlos. “I’m hungry.”
         “Finding thieves can cause hunger,” says the Dad.
         The Ayalas laugh. The policeman thanks Carlos again and goes. Now Carmen is not (there). Carlos knows that everything is going to turn out well. It is the most incredible experience of his life.


-----------------Side Note-----------------------------------------------------------------
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Friday, April 29, 2011

What's the most refreshing drink in the world?


1. Lemon/Lime Water

Juice of one half lemon/lime in a glass of pure water with fresh mint and ice cubes.


2. Organic whole milk in a glass bottle

If you don't have whole milk, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of water to two cups of skim or 1% milk.


3. Coconut Water

Cut or smash open a young organic coconut, and pour out the water, then drink. Full of refreshing, delicious enzymes and nutrients.


4. World's Most Refreshing Drink-- Dogh?

Kefir_2
Iran can get hot. Which is probably why Persia produces the most satisfying hot weather drink we know. It's called dogh (or dough or dugh) and it blends salty yogurt with mint, cucumber, and club soda. You can buy it at Persian stores or restaurants but we prefer to make our own versions of this frizzy creamy dream by blending kefir (fruity or plain) with seltzer water and ice (photo left). Mmmmmmmm.



5. Banana Mango Juice

Banana Mango Juice: Buy it at whole foods or put two mangoes, three bananas, and ice in a blender and create a smoothie.



6. Lemon-Orange water *or* Plain Orange Juice With Fizzy Water

Orange Juice: Take orange juice. Add fizzy water and garnish with a slice of lemon. Sip from a straw.

Lemon-orange water: 

Ingredients:
1 navel orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 quarts water
ice
fresh mint
Directions:
1) First, slice your lemon and orange in thin slices (about 8 for each)
2) Fill your pitcher half way up with ice.
3) Add your lemon and orange slices. (in a decorative manner).
4) Fill with your water (I use bottled)
5) Pour in a glass filled with ice and about 5 mint leaves.



7. Best Lemonade Ever

1 ¾ cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 ½ cups lemon juice


8.  Cucumber water













What you need is something refreshing, not too flavorful or sweet and easy to make. Hello cucumber water!
Cucumber water is possibly the most refreshing drink I've personally tasted. And it's natural.

So how do you make cucumber water? It's pretty simple. There's two ways you can do it, but both need a bit of prep time, so it helps to know ahead of time when you've got guests coming. With the first method, which gives you the most flavourful water, you blend up a cucumber before hand and then pour it through a very fine strainer (I like to line a sieve with cheesecloth). Let this concoction drip through in the fridge overnight. The resulting cucumber juice is mixed with a pitcher of water (you can stretch this out this depending on how strong you like it - I like mine with just a hint of flavour).

The other method is to cut up a cucumber into small chunks, cover in the amount of water you want to drink and let it soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain the mixture and discard the cukes.

For my own personal recipe I like to add a few other things. Mint makes the drink even more cooling and refreshing. If you add mint, blend it in with the cucumber in the first method, or, if using the second method, chop the mint and let it soak with the cucumber chunks in the water overnight. I also like to add a squeeze of lime before serving or you can place a half lime in with the concoction you're soaking overnight.

When all is said and done you've got a subtly flavoured, refreshing beverage you can serve over ice. I find it's surprisingly addictive, so make a bunch or it'll be gone in no time.


8. Passionfruit Puree with Strawberry Puree with water and ice


9. Aqua Fresca

Ingredients:
4 cups drinking water
2 cups fresh fruit
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
lime or lemon wedges for garnish
Preparation:
In a blender combine water and fruit. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture through a sieve into a pitcher or serving container. Stir in lemon or lime juice and sugar. Add additional sugar to taste. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.



10. Lime Slush ties with Watermelon Slush

Watermelon Slush
6 ice cubes
2 cups cubed seeded watermelon, blended in a blender
1 teaspoon honey







Lime Slush:
7-8 tablespoons lime juice

1 12 ounce can 100% white grape juice concentrate

5 fresh mint leaves

lots of ice (enough to fill the blender)

cold water, as needed
Blend juice, juice concentrate, mint, and ice. Add small amounts of water to help the mixture blend well. Blend on high until ice is smooth. Serve in glasses with sprigs of fresh mint.