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Mario of Copan

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Mario of Copan

They call me Mario here. This is the name that I was given by the Honduran fieldworkers on the archaeology excavation that I am working on at Copan. “Mario,” they call out to me and then laugh. There is something funny about this Mario name. I don’t know what it is. Maybe there is something funny about me.

I would not doubt it.

I entered the village of Copan Ruinas in Honduras on Saturday after a long nebulous of a Tica bus journey from Costa Rica through Nicaragua. My mind now draws a blank when I think of all the nothing that I passed during the three day bus journey. It was truly three days of nothing. I looked out the window ever waiting for something to roll out in the landscape, something to jump up tp my window and get me, but the biggest disruption to the unruffled quilt of the horizon was the very bus that I was riding in- and I could not even look at that. Really, there is nothing in Central America. From San Jose, Costa Rica to A San Pedro Sula, Honduras there is nothing but glorious fields, rivers, and mountains. Maybe a village here and there pops up in the distance. But, for the most part, this is a land that is not dinged by the curse of things. Fields, fields, fields, an errant mule, an errant farmer, maybe a dirt encrusted kid playing with an old Tonka trunk on the side of the highway is all the visual stimulation that a journey through this parched and barren land can boast of. I like Central America.

I think of my youth in the USA and how everyone is drawn to someTHING. People do, own, and play THINGS there. Well, I am reacting against the pull of my culture and am stepping out on a plank of my own over an undulating and perilously endless sea: My attraction is for noTHING and all of the emptiness that comes on with it. My love is for lands that are empty. My love is for Central America, Mongolia, no-mans-land China, and the area around Cerro de Pasco in Peru. I want to look out from where I stand and see forever clearly. I want to know that my place in the world is in the middle of nowhere. I want no bearings, no direction, no ties, no path, nowhere to come from and nowhere to go.

I do not even want to know anymore where it is that I stand.

I don’t really care.

Oh yeah, my name is now Mario. Say it with a laugh, as I am the new ass of Copan.

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Copan, Honduras
March 4, 2008

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Filed under: Archaeology, Central America, Honduras

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap