And come they do. As Steph explains, a family, made up of two women and three men, came to camp, and they brought baskets of things and incense. The Maya go over to the pyramid and start to build a fire with various items, topped off with a bunch of rosemary and a whole container of honey. Steph is like, "Uh, bless these ingredients. I mean, items." The ritual begins, and it includes chanting, as well as the eventual production of a live chicken. Steph's first thought, as she describes it, is, "Oh. Are we going to get to eat that chicken?" Rafe takes over the story at this point, saying that Steph was wondering if they were going to kill it, and says he told her he was fairly certain this was going to be a sacrifice. In other words, not a good day to be a chicken. We watch a little more of the ritual, and Rafe says the next thing that happened was that the Maya revelers pulled off the chicken's head and threw it in the fire. At which point Steph asked Rafe whether they killed the chicken. He reports that he told her that, what with its head just having been tossed into the fire, the chicken probably was pretty much done for. As the chicken cooks on the fire, Rafe talks about how much he got out of the experience of observing the ritual. One of the guys comes around with a bowl for the group to sip from, and Lydia explains that because her heritage is Latin, she felt "kinship" with the visitors. And...really? Not with the chicken? Because I'm quite confident that, of the F4, Lydia is the one with the best chicken impression. Lydia adds that there was some food, in the form of tamales, for which Steph asks whether it's okay to say "gracias." Lydia says that it is.
And then Steph turns to her other interest besides talking, which is food. As the ritual progresses, Steph asks Lydia to ask the Maya whether they can eat the chicken, and Lydia does. There are places where animal sacrifices are cooked, so it's not as stupid an idea as it seems like it might be. (Again, the moral is: if you're going to be punished by the gods of any culture, try not to come back as a chicken.) The guy conducting the ritual says that no, they can't eat the chicken, because the chicken is an offering to the gods. Rafe explains how it was all about thanking the water and the sky and your ancestors and so forth. He says he's "been waiting to have a cultural experience." And he probably has been, knowing him, because every story is just another story he can tell the rest of the Birkenstock crowd when he gets back to the natural foods co-op, cornering people up against the organic peanut butter, like, "Have I ever told you about the time I saw a real animal sacrifice?" The Maya leave.