|Caribbean Cruise and 2010 annual meeting of|
the Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors
On March 8, 2010, Kate and Dick boarded the huge Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas, for a six-day excursion to Cozumel (Mexico) and Belize (a member of the British Commonwealth). The official reason for the trip was attending the annual convention of the Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors (AGPC), which just happened to be on the high seas this year. These photos by Dick Jones tell the story:
Nearby, our guide, Dr. Jaime Awe, showed visitors a ball court where the Maya used to play a life-and-death game. The losers would be sacrificed. We also learned, from anthropologist Lieve Verbeeck, about a somewhat less deadly game played by the Maya the night before plantinga piece-capturing boardgame called BUL, played with corn kernels used as dice. The game could go on all night, accompanied by hallucinogenic refreshments. Only the men played in teams while the women cooked. Presumably playing this game was to assure a plentiful harvest.
Dr. Jaime explained several theories for the disappearance of the Mayan civilization, the most likely one being years-long droughts. Belize now has only about 320,000 inhabitants on 8,867 square miles of territory, of many mixed ethnic ancestries. Tourism seems to be their major industry.
Back on board, on Friday, March 12, the gamers enjoyed several presentations and workshops on the history of games and jigsaw puzzles. Kate gave a talk on "The Art of Play," illustrated by lots of pictures of the Kadon gamepuzzles and a few hands-on samples.
Saturdaydisembark, amidst 3300 other passengers, including two thousand students on Spring Break. Long, long lines slowly wended their way through immigration. Great chance to play Sequitur to pass the time, introducing it even to a couple of students standing in line with us. They caught on fast. Adios, muchachos!
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