San Antonio and the black ants

Added on by Jaime Permuth.

Yesterday we drove out to the marketplace in San Antonio Aguas Calientes to soak up the small town vibe and get some last minute gifts. Also because Olin is fascinated by the bright colors of huipiles and other native weavings and objects.

As they always do in Guatemala, our twin babies created quite a stir around them.  Women drifted over from their stalls to have a peek at them, others even got up from their looms mid-weaving.

One woman confided in me that her brother and his wife had twins born to them: a boy and a girl.  Tragically, the girl passed away twenty days later.  The young couple looked towards religion for solace.  The surviving baby boy would sometimes sigh and tear up unexpectedly and the whole family would follow suit and wail with grief. 

Following Kak’Chiquel tradition, they planted carnations in a pot and helped the infant water and care for them, giving him a companion to grow up with in her absence.  A sense of peace was gradually restored to the household.

She also cautioned me that when you get angry with or scold a twin, they have the power to summon ants from the ground to bite your skin.


And a little postscript: this afternoon I was sitting with Olin on my lap and teased him about his trousers fitting a bit too snuggly.Next thing I know, a big black ant appeared on my forearm!