Barbara Arroyo

Oral History Interview with Barbara Arroyo, conducted by Margaret Vo by telephone on June 26, 2015. At Dumbarton Oaks, Barbara Arroyo was a Senior Fellow of Pre-Columbian Studies between 2008 and 2014.

MV: So, today is June 26, 2015. My name is Margaret Vo, and today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Arroyo, who is one of our Senior Fellows in the Pre-Columbian Studies department.

BA: Yes, that’s right. Thank you.

MV: So, according to our records – I’m going to start off – you first came to Dumbarton Oaks in 2008 as a Senior Fellow in Pre-Columbian Studies, is that right?

BA: That is right.

MV: And exactly what brought you to this institution in the first place?

BA: I think that – you know, I – we – I came because Joanne Pillsbury, former PC director, asked me to join the senior fellows. And of course, then, the director, Jan, actually wrote a letter, you know, requesting that I got involved, you know, with the whole group. But I think it has to do with a prior event that we had in Guatemala in 2007, where there was a symposium while the Music Room was being renovated. There was a Pre-Columbian symposium in Antigua, Guatemala, and I was the local host, if you want to call it, and co-organizer of the symposium, together with Julia Guernsey and John Clark. So, we organized that meeting here, and I think my initial contacts, they occurred through this experience. I think – you know, before, I knew of Dumbarton Oaks, but I never applied as a graduate student to, you know, to one of the fellowships because I thought my subject wasn’t flashy enough. But then of course I learned, as a Senior Fellow, that there’s no flashy or non flashy [Laughter] theme. So, anyway, that’s how I got involved, you know, through the – probably through the experience of having organized the session in –

MV: And –

BA: Hmm?

MV: When was the Guatemalan symposium?

BA: That was in October of 2007.

MV: Okay.

BA: Uh huh.

MV: So, it was pretty soon before you became a Senior Fellow.

BA: Yeah. Yeah, we worked together for about – you know how it is, that it takes about, you know, oh, well, you know, over a year to organize these meetings.

MV: Right.

BA: So, we actually were in touch throughout all this time. And then when the actual event took place, you know, I had a team of people that collaborated, you know, with the – you know, as volunteers, and things like that, that obviously contributed to the success of the actual meeting in Guatemala. And then, you know, of course, the editing of the volume afterwards was a great experience. So, anyways. So, that’s how I got involved.

MV: Had you ever come to Dumbarton Oaks before that?

BA: Yes.

MV: Just to visit?

BA: Yes, yes. I had, of course, in various occasions, to attend the Pre-Columbian symposia, you know, throughout the years. Obviously, I did not come every year, but you know, I came to some of those that I – that were of most interest to me for – because, you know – according to the research I was doing. Since I’m in Guatemala, it’s not like I can take a plane any time [Laughter].

MV: Right.

BA: But as a graduate student, I went several times and then afterwards as well.

MV: Do you remember what your first impression of Dumbarton Oaks was?

BA: Well, as a graduate student, which was the first time, actually, that I was introduced, if you want, to Dumbarton Oaks, first, I was impressed with the – if you want to call it, the… magic [Laughter] of the place.

MV: I understand, yes. [Laughter]

BA: I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s my original impression as a graduate student, you know, and finding this very – you know, it seemed as if knowledge was coming out of the, you know, walls, kind of things. At the time, I did not visit the library, because I was there for a short period of time, just for the symposium, but just, you know, being out in the garden, it was just such an amazing experience. And then going into the Music Room and listening to the presentations, which were just all the time very interesting, as a graduate student, you know, one gets like, “Aw, this is where I want to come,” right?

MV: Right.

BA: And yes, I thought I would apply to a – one of the Junior Fellowships, but as I said, back then, I thought that what I was doing was not flashy enough for Dumbarton Oaks, because I always thought that Dumbarton Oaks would just fund projects that were linked to art history or, you know, aesthetics, and I was not doing any of that. I was doing dirt archaeology, so. But, you know, I’ve come to learn, after collaborating with D.O. as a Senior Fellow, that no, there – you know, there are many projects that D.O. sponsors, and of course, the library is incredible, so they have the best books and publications on various Mesoamerica themes, which is what I, you know, what I work on, so.

MV: Right.

BA: I think it was a wrong impression, or maybe at the time, that’s how it was. I don’t know, you know. But anyways, that was my first impression. It was – I was very impressed – and then the other thing that impressed me very much were the publications, of course, which I already knew of. As an undergraduate and a graduate student, I had used them many times, but having – you know, being able to actually be there and buy them directly, you know.

MV: Right.

BA: That’s kind of fun, too. Yeah. Especially on sale at the time, because as a graduate student, one doesn’t have money for that.

MV: Yeah, exactly. [Laughter] Do you remember when that was?

BA: That must have been – let me see – 1989, probably, or 1990. No, 1989, probably, yep.

MV: And how often did you come?

BA: Perhaps every, you know, two years? And then I didn’t come for a while, and then, I guess, I must have come for another two meetings. And then as a Senior Fellow, of course, you know, after the Antigua meeting.

MV: Has Dumbarton Oaks changed a lot since, you know, the 1980s?

BA: Hmm.

MV: I know you only came here in bits and pieces, but whatever you could remember.

BA: Yeah. But, you know, I think in many ways, yes. I would say that back then – and again, it could have been that it was my situation as a student.

MV: Yes.

BA: But my perception now is that D.O. is a bit more open. And for example, the Pre-Columbian Director – well, you know. You guys are there.

MV: Right.

BA: Interns are there, and that’s a great opportunity. And I know that there’s a connection to Harvard. However, there are opportunities for people to get involved at a very junior level, which is wonderful, because you get to know the place, then you get to do some work that actually benefits you, as a, you know, as a young, upcoming person. So, that’s, I think – scholars. So, I think it’s a – I think that’s very different from the time when I came, because – to me, my impression was that if you were a student, you know, yeah, come, but it was more geared towards professionals, while now, I think it’s a bit more open. And then, of course, the enlarging of the collections that just – the whole renovation of the library, which happened after I finished, if I’m not wrong, my Ph.D., which was after 1994, if I’m not – I don’t know. I don’t remember. Somewhere around the nineties –

MV: Right. Yes.

BA: they renovated the library. That was a big thing, too. And even if – even though I was not there, I heard about it, and, you know – because the library’s like, such an important place for everyone doing –

MV: Of course, yes.

BA: – work in the area. So, yes, I think it has changed. More welcoming, perhaps, I would say. [dogs barking]

MV: And did you get to know – whose dogs are those?

BA: Oh, these are my dogs. They – people walk around them in the morning, and the problem is I’m on my cell phone because the computer didn’t work.

MV: Right.

BA: And if I move somewhere else, this is going to – you know, the communication will get cut, so.

MV: Yes.

BA: So please bear –

MV: It’s fine.

BA: Forget the dogs.

MV: It’s fine. [Laughter] Did you get to know anyone in the Byzantine department back then? Like Angeliki Laiou, or –

BA: No. No, unfortunately, no. And I wish I would have done more of that, even as a Senior Fellow, because it would have been very – I don’t know, a good experience. But, you know, going there for such a short period of time – if I would have been a Fellow, say, like a regular Fellow, perhaps that would have been a good – but since I just visited for short periods of times, it wasn’t, that wasn’t good. You know, I really didn’t meet people from the other departments.

MV: What are your duties as Senior Fellow?

BA: Well, advise the Director on potential themes that could be worked as symposiums, symposia, for the fall, you know.

MV: Right.

BA: So, that’s one thing. Also, advise, overall, because, you know, sometimes there are great findings, and if they happen in your country, perhaps it’s – or at least in my case, if they happen in Guatemala, it’s good for D.O. to know, so maybe they will have a guest speaker to present their results. Sometimes there are very interesting things in the area that you don’t necessarily get to hear through, like, the, you know, the press or something.

MV: Mmm hmm.

BA: And something very unique or specific, so just let them know about that. Perhaps people will come up and give a presentation. Also, obviously, review proposals for – that are – you know, consider the proposals that are presented as, you know, for Junior Fellows and senior – and, for Fellows, regular Fellows every year. And that was at the end of the year, normally over Christmas break, which is a lot of work – but fun, you know, because you get to know what’s going on in the whole Americas, literally, you know. Pretty much. You know, at least from Mesoamerica down to South America. So, that was good. That was very, very useful for me, at least. And then, depending on, you know, what’s happening, too, recommend manuscripts for publications, because sometimes you know of people that are working on something, and perhaps it’s a way of getting a good publication, by recommending, again, to the publications committee, a manuscript to be considered for a D.O. publication.

MV: Mmm.

BA: And what else? You know, just… exchange of ideas. You know, we had an opportunity – I think Jan has been wonderful at listening, you know, more, you know, going beyond just the regular meeting, especially – [connection break up] – Senior Fellows meetings that, you know –

MV: You’re breaking up a little bit.

BA: When we have – [connection break up] – select Fellows – [connection break up] – meet, and we – pardon me?

MV: You’re breaking up a tiny bit.

BA: Maggie? Hello? [Pause] Can you hear me now? Maggie?

MV: A tiny bit, yes.

BA: Is this better?

MV: Yeah, this is fine.

BA: Okay, I’m back to the place with the dogs.

MV: Back to – the last thing I heard was Jan listening better.

BA: Ah. Okay, okay. Jan has – was very good at wanting to listen more, you know? So, I remember we had the meetings – can you hear me?

MV: Yes.

BA: Okay. We had the meetings, and, you know, we had our agenda and our various points, but we would go through them and everybody would have to leave. And as much as we would communicate over email as a group, Senior Fellows as a group, and the Pre-Columbian Director, either Joanne or Colin, it was good to have that personal and that, you know – like, being in person at the meeting.

MV: Right.

BA: So, Jan was good at expanding the meetings, say, half a day or a day if needed to, for us to discuss more some of the themes that were important, like, you know, where are we heading as a department? And stuff like that. So, that was very good, I think. So, some things were not, like, regular, but every now and then we would have a chance to talk about potential projects or discuss just different dynamics of the department and stuff, or things that could be done, more than anything, really. And of course, we only advise; we don’t – you know, we don’t have – as Senior Fellows, we don’t have the power to to do much besides advising.

MV: Right.

BA: But that was important, because, you know, our voice was being heard, and we were contributing to the field through our advice, and that was good, so. So yeah. That’s basically what the Senior Fellows – or, what I did as a Senior Fellow, you know, specifically.

MV: Great. Are there any particularly memorable projects that you yourself worked on in conjunction with Dumbarton Oaks?

BA: Uh, let me see. Well, besides that – the organization of that symposium – 

MV: Yes.

BA: ­­– we are now working on another symposium, hopefully, that will take place in 2017. Perhaps. You know, we’re working on our proposal. I don't even know whether this is going to happen, but yes. I continue to collaborate, you know, in what we are – you know, on the regular kind of things that the Senior Fellows do. Hopefully, you know. And what else? Perhaps emergency grants, identifying potential – [dogs barking] these dogs are driving me nuts. [Laughter]

MV: I’m sorry.

BA: Hold on. I’ll move again. Let me know if you lose me, okay?

MV: Okay.

BA: But you know, emergency grants, identifying potential, you know, sites that might benefit from these. We would kind of tell the people, you know, the archaeologists, “Well, there’s this opportunity at D.O. Why don’t you apply?” You know? Letting them know. Also, that’s the other thing. Perhaps another thing that I think I managed to do as a Senior Fellow was to become kind of like a spokesperson for D.O. outside D.O., at least in the areas where I was – ah, como se dice? Eh… I don't know where I was. Doing my work. For example, whenever I had a chance to be with some students, I would let them know, you know, “Well, you know about the D.O. There’s an opportunity for you to apply.” And people in Guatemala say they really didn’t know, sometimes, that there were opportunities, even though they were not American scholars.

MV: Right.

BA: So, that was good, too, to be able to communicate to people about the opportunities that D.O. offered to the world, not just to North America. That was also another thing. Yep.

MV: Are there a lot of outreach objectives currently going on for other countries, or even for Guatemala, from D.O.?

BA: Right now I think at some point, we discussed the possibility of taking one of the meetings back to Latin America, like Joanne did when the Music Room was being renovated.

MV: Right.

BA: I think that would give D.O. great exposure, as I think it gave D.O. great exposure back then. And I think it would do it again. We discussed the possibility of doing that, in, you know, in the near future, but never, you know, landed on anything, unfortunately. So, hopefully in the future. But right now, as a project that’s going to happen, I don’t think there’s anything in particular – hmm – about, you know, on that, I think. But there are talks, you know. We talked about doing it. I think it’s important. I think it benefits D.O. in many ways to do it. So, hopefully, you know, it’ll happen again.

MV: Mmm. And I remember you mentioned that one symposium that you’d worked on. Are you talking about the Place of Sculpture in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Tradition? Or –

BA: That is the one.

MV: Yes. Okay.

BA: That is the one.

MV: Just making sure I have my facts correct.

BA: Yes, yes, yes. No, that is the one. I should have given you the title. [Laughter] That is the one. Yeah.

MV: So, how often do you come to Dumbarton Oaks as a senior fellow? Just once a year?

BA: Twice a year.

MV: Twice.

BA: We meet every January and October. January to review proposals, basically as a main task, but, you know, deal with other business, and then in October to go attend the meeting, the symposium, but also to have the Senior Fellows meeting.

MV: Right.

BA: Mmm hmm.

MV: And do you stay on Dumbarton Oaks grounds when you do?

BA: Yes. Yes. I stay, normally, at the Guest House, which, you know, it’s a very nice thing. And we have a chance to share with the other Senior Fellows, which is always good, to have that exchange outside the actual meeting time. So, that’s good. Yeah. That’s where I stay.

MV: And I’m assuming you get a lot of chance to interact with Colin McEwan, the Director of Studies, yes?

BA: Oh, of course. Oh yeah.

MV: How is he to work with?

BA: He’s, you know, very, very open, and it’s been, you know, a very good experience. I haven’t really worked so much with him, because he’s been only – he’s been there only for, what is it, two years? Three years.

MV: Yes.

BA: Yeah, the time flies. [Laughter] But you know, we actually correspond via email a lot, or sometimes talk on the phone for specific questions or themes, specific projects. So yeah. I think it’s been good. The collaboration has been good. So, it’s been good.

MV: That’s great.

BA: Mmm hmm.

MV: And before Colin, did you also get a chance –

BA: Joanne?

MV: Yes.

BA: Yes, yes. I worked with Joanne ­– having organized that, co-organized that symposium, perhaps made me, you know, talk to her a lot when we were dealing with a lot of things, so, kind of had a perhaps – and also I knew her longer, perhaps, and that’s why we prob – I feel like I ended up talking to her much more than Colin, just because of the time that I served as a Senior Fellow back – you know, whenever she was the Pre-Columbian Director. And also because of that symposium specifically. But – and then, at the time, I wasn’t a Senior Fellow when we were preparing it, but just, you know, just the contact and everything. She’s someone that actually has – and I would say Colin as well.

MV: Mmm hmm.

BA: Both have this… interest in promoting the international collaborations. And I think that’s something very, very important. I hope that D.O. continues doing that, because it really expands the number of people that get involved in the various D.O. projects and people applying from outside the U.S. And I think that’s very important, because in a way, that’s also D.O.’s contribution to the world, if you want. So, I think both Joanne and Colin had that inter – well, Colin has it and Joanne had it.

MV: Right.

BA: So, I think that’s very important. I think it might be the philosophy of D.O., you know? So that’s good. And, you know, with – and then, I would say Joanne – and I think Colin, too, you know, would always go out to find out, you know, what is going on here? What are people – what is, like, you know, the main focus right now of the archaeology in, say, in southern Mesoamerica, which is what I’m more connected to and stuff. So yes. Open and very curious to learn what’s happening and wanting to be on top of things, you know? So, that’s – I think both of them were like that. But anyways, my relationships with both have been very productive and very good.

MV: Is the Pre-Columbian Studies department different under the two of them, in any noticeable ways?

BA: I really don’t have a basis to judge. Perhaps – you know, and this is totally because of the times when things were done – obviously when Joanne was working on them, on the Maya catalog, I had a – oh, that’s another way – I forgot to mention that. I also contributed with a couple of entries to the Maya catalog published by D.O., so that was another connection to helping or collaborating with D.O. and to working with Joanne. Because, of course, I participated in that process, and that was good. So, I think at the time, there were various projects that were more linked to, say, the Maya area, because right now, they’re working on the Colo – you know, Panama/Colombia, you know, the southern, the – no, it’s not lower Central America, it’s the intermediate region catalogue. So, in a way, you know, I was more into – not more into, but I would be seeked for advice because they were working on projects more connected to my area.

MV: Right.

BA: However, I have to say that I did attend the workshop that took place in Panama this January, when they were discussing – you know, were presenting data to be considered for the catalog, and for me, that was very, very important, and very useful. I learned a lot from attending their workshop, and also I met many people that I hadn’t – that I had read their work but not meet them in person, because that’s not my area of expertise. So, just having that opportunity was great. And that was a very, very nice, very well organized, very good meeting. Bryan Cockrell, the postdoc working on the project was great, and so was Kelly, from the PC department.

MV: Right.

BA: So, that was very good, too. My relationship with the postdocs and the, you know, Kelly now and Emily before were just great. I think D.O. must have a magnet to attract good people, because they were great, you know. I think they also dedicated themselves to the organization and to promoting the objectives of the organization. So, I think it’s been also good working with everyone, really.

MV: That’s wonderful.

BA: Mmm hmm.

MV: So you’ve spoken a lot about collaboration with other countries and other people who aren’t part of D.O. How is it, I guess from a Senior Fellow standpoint, between departments? As in, Pre-Columbian collaboration with Byzantine, etc. here at Dumbarton Oaks?

BA: You know what? I think it happens at the directors’ level, meaning that, you know, the P.C. Director communicates with the Byzantine Director and the Landscape – but I always thought that there was an opportunity to be explored, which has perhaps not been explored, at least while I was a Senior Fellow there, that could be explored, and that is interaction between Senior Fellows.

MV: Mmm.

BA: We never really got together as groups of Senior Fellows. And I know it’s so complicated, budget-wise, etc., etc., but I think it would – you know, I think D.O. might benefit at some point to have a meeting every five years, if you want, I don’t know, and have everyone, every group of Senior Fellows from the various departments exchange information, because I bet you that something might come out of that. I think that kind of collaboration is not happening, and I think it would enrich D.O. greatly if it happened. So, that’s something that I, at some point, you know, thought about. Perhaps I did not express it, but I think it would be wonderful. I know that at times, there were a couple of Senior Fellows that participated in some of the, say, Landscape, perhaps, I think, Landscape symposium, but it’s not completely inclusive, maybe. Maybe the people that are at Harvard do have that exchange, but the people that are not at Harvard don’t have it, necessarily. So.

MV: Right.

BA: That would – yeah, I think it would be beneficial for the organization if that happens.

MV: And how – this is jumping subjects, but I realized I forgot to ask this question. How would you characterize Dumbarton Oaks’ impact on the Pre-Columbian Studies field at large? I guess globally or all over academia.

BA: Oh. Yes. Yeah. First of all, I think it’s instrumental, because the library, the resources – it offers opportunities to people to actually dedicate, to sit down and write up things, which is a rare thing in our field, in this wonderful environment, where, you know, it inspires you. So, it really makes a difference. I think D.O. has been great in offering those opportunities. Then, second, I think it’s been great in actually publishing a lot of the results of some of these great pieces of work. On the – you know, as a third point, the symposia series is just wonderful, because it really cross – it cuts across borders, and it goes, you know, not just at the site level, but more the regional and interregional level, where it gives an opportunity for people to exchange ideas across, you know, the Americas. And I think that’s such a wonderful and useful exercise. That doesn’t happen in many organizations, or individually, people don’t necessarily do that. So, I think, in that case, D.O. has been instrumental, too. And then, of course, the emergency grants. You know, who offers emergency grants these days? Coming – I know that there’s – it’s not a lot of money, but that little fund can go a long way in countries like ours, where, you know, the patrimony and cultural heritage is not – or archaeology is not one of the main objectives. Or perhaps, perhaps it’s important, but the authorities have other urgent needs, such as health and education, that they really don’t put the money into cultural heritage, and Dumbarton Oaks supporting those efforts is wonderful. So, I would say, overall, D.O. has really been crucial in the development of the studies in the Maya region. And I don’t want to just say the Maya, because that limits the scope of the impact. I would say more like, you know the Latin America archaeology. So, I think it’s been very, very important, the contribution that D.O. has done to our field –

MV: Mmm.

BA: – throughout the, you know, Mesoamerica and South America.

MV: Right.

BA: Mmm hmm.

MV: And on the other side of it, could you speak a bit to the relationship between Harvard and Dumbarton Oaks, if you know a bit about that?

BA: [Sigh] See, I really don’t know much about it, other than – well, I do know. I do know about it. Yeah. Because, you know, we know that we are – D.O. is kind of like a Harvard organization. That, I have it very clear.

MV: Right.

BA: I think it’s great that Harvard students can benefit from actual working experience by, you know, being – doing projects at D.O. It benefits D.O. in the sense that there’s work that has to be done, that if the interns weren’t there, it wouldn't get done. So that – I think that’s wonderful. At the same time, that, then, collaboration benefits to the student himself/herself, because they can actually get a publication or get, you know, some presentations out of it, the experience they get. So, that’s very good. So, I think that program that they have with Harvard and the graduate students is absolutely wonderful. As for the relationship between Harvard and the actual Senior Fellows, I know that we have a couple of professors from Harvard be Senior Fellows on the, you know, advisory board or whatever you want to call it.

MV: Mmm hmm.

BA: And they – they are the ones that kind of have the continuity and the memory, if you want, because they don’t come off the board. They stay along for a long time, and I think that’s important, that there’s a memory about that. So, I think it’s – that’s how much I know, okay? Perhaps I could know more. And of course, obviously, Jan being the Director and being a professor there and everything, I know that there’s a very strong, very strong relationship with Harvard. But that’s, that’s – you know, I never really got into the details of the connection between Harvard and D.O., but I do know that whatever collaboration and relationship is very strong and very good in terms of benefitting people, the field, etc.

MV: Mmm. That’s wonderful.

BA: Mmm hmm, mmm hmm.

MV: Do you have just any general memories, positive or negative, about Dumbarton Oaks that stick out in your mind?

BA: You know, at first when I came, in a way, I felt very intimidated, because it’s a very different – being a Senior Fellow, meaning that, you know, as a student, I was more of – you know, I’m impressed, and this is like college coming out of the walls and stuff. But as a Senior Fellow, I was intimidated just because of, you know, coming from Guatemala and not having, how do you say, handled myself within a group like that, you know, because I have served on boards, but not at that level, at the academic level. I – you know, at first I was a bit intimidated, but then, you know, at the time, Joanne and Jan were both so welcoming and so nice, that I – that that kind of, you know, just went off immediately, and made me feel very comfortable, and I, you know, I actually always felt that I could speak for whatever, you know, whatever I thought. And that was good. And I also appreciated that they were listening to me, coming from outside the U.S. and not necessarily involved in the whole system, you know, academic system of the U.S., because, in a way, I was being a voice for our area, and I felt that that voice was being listened to, and I appreciated that. So, I think that was good. And I started thinking, you know, who was a Senior Fellow that came from Latin America? And I started looking up the names of the people who had been Senior Fellows, and I don’t think there has been one before me, you know? So, I think it’s kind of interesting that I had that opportunity. And in a way, it also opens doors, I hope, to future Senior Fellows to come from other parts of the world, to come and collaborate with the department, because it offers a different perspective, and I think that’s very important, that the opportunity was given to me to come and to contribute and also express my ideas or concerns or whatever, so that was good.

MV: You’re a pioneer.

BA: Well, I don’t know whether I’m a pioneer, but I think – I hope that I did not close doors to the future, you know, to other people coming in [Laughter] from these parts of the world.

MV: Right. So, is there anything else, just generally, that you’d like to add that I’ve left out?

BA: Well, no, I don’t think so. I think we covered pretty much everything. I think it’s been a very, very good relationship with everyone. It’s been a great experience for me, and I hope it’s been for D.O. to have me on board.

MV: What are you doing from here on out?

BA: I am stepping down as a Senior Fellow, because my time is up. Actually, it was up a year ago, but I stayed an extra year because of an emergency situation there, one – last minute resignation of one of the Senior Fellows, so I stayed an extra year. But right now, I need to finish my [Laughter] finish a couple of things. I have a book project for the site that I’m working on, Kaminaljuyu. And Kaminaljuyu is a very important site in Mesoamerica, I would say, not just in my area. Unfortunately, it’s been totally disassembled because of urban growth. Guatemala cities basically are over Kaminaljuyu. So, we have been trying to put together the pieces of Kaminaljuyu with the various projects, and we’ve managed to make a lot of progress. So I’m, as of, you know, a couple of months from now, I’ll start working on this manuscript for – you know, to have all this recent work being published, incorporating the older work, so that we make a comprehensive narrative of Kaminaljuyu. I hope. We’ll see whether that happens. And then, you know, there are various other projects. I worked on the Pacific coast before.

MV: Mmm hmm.

BA: And that work, kind of, was put on hold because of opportunities that came up here in the highlands, in the Maya highlands, so I need to go back and finish some of that and actually also work on a couple of publications. So, really focusing on the publishing. I’m teaching in the field. I have an active project where I have students from both the private university, del Valle, and also from the San Carlos University, national university students.

MV: Mmm hmm.

BA: I give them fieldwork. I give them lab work opportunities, and also I advise several honors theses. We have a degree here that’s not the B.A., but a little bit more. It’s – they have to do some original thesis project, so I advise them on that using data from Kaminaljuyu right now. So, I’m working on five theses, which is crazy, but you know, little by little. They’re not happening all that the same time. So that’s good. So, you know, I’m active in the field, I am part of the organization. I’m actually the head organizer of our annual archaeology meeting, which is going to be the twenty-ninth edition of it this July. Hopefully, next year will be my last. I keep saying that, but – [Laughter] I think thirty would be a good number, and maybe this is time for someone to take over, although nobody wants to take the responsibility, and that’s why I’ve been stuck for more than what I want to. But so you know, I keep busy. And we also edit the presentations, the proceedings, so we have a publication the year after, which is another nightmare, but we get it done, and it’s recent work that’s put out, so that’s another thing that keeps me busy. So, there are a lot of things happening.

MV: Yeah. Wow, you seem really busy.

BA: Yeah. I keep active. I love what I do, you know? That’s – I think that’s –

MV: Right. That’s good.

BA: Yeah. Yeah. But I don’t know. That’s basically it. And, you know, Maggie, if you can pass this on to Colin and Colin knows it, and of course, Jan, you know, anything that D.O. might need, there’s always – you know, I will always hopefully be here in Guatemala, and in any way that I can collaborate with D.O., I’ll be more than happy to do so, because I think it has been a very, very productive collaboration, to be, you know, to having been, to be a Senior Fellow, and having had that opportunity. So, I’ll always be here, and if D.O. ever wants any advice of any kind, just to have them call me or send me an email.

MV: Of course.

BA: Mmm hmm.

MV: All right, well, thank you so much.

BA: Okay, Maggie. Well, good luck with your project, okay?

MV: I wish you the best of luck on yours as well.

BA: Okay. You take care. Bye-bye.

MV: Have a nice day. Bye.