My company works at the bleeding edge of the emerging markets with exports and provides a series of appreciable asset opportunities for high net wealth allies. I've often told of our glorious times in the wilds of the Yucatan when proving my "toughness" with clients, and even took a vacation with my father to Honduras to see Copan!
I've been privileged to share many wonderful moments with Professor Aveni, but a few stand out in particular. Before our trip to the Yucatan, Professor Aveni stressed so much about our projects displaying our birthday in Maya hieroglyphs and to make the project creative. My dear friend Kevin Rondeau, after checking several times to ensure the birthday was correct, went out and got the hieroglyphs tattoo'd on his side. He bled right through his shirt at our sorority formal the night before the big reveal to Professor Aveni!
While we were in the Yucatan, we had one especially wonderful day: We weren't allowed into the private property with a circular structure next to our beachside cabanas, despite Aveni's discussions with the nice armed guards carrying AK-47s. So we ended up trying to find another site, and were detoured to a site not on the maps. After about 2 hours in the vans, where we drove through a swarm of locusts ("Quick close the windows!"), and a pond with lots of pink flamingos, we all dashed out of the vans to relieve ourselves. All of the sudden throughout the woods you heard people shouting. We had come upon an unmarked site and were all peeing all over it! We spent the next several hours exploring the site, and discovered some looted buildings, and a large wall mural still intact, and surrounded by scorpions which we discovered after we were up close.
There is also the famed Merida club, KY-60, where the men participated in a dance competition. And the day that poor Pato stepped on a large black sea urchin and the local bartenders told us they'd have to cut off his foot (they were joking, we got very worried).
Professor Aveni is the classic underappreciated savant. He took to teaching others to share the joys he finds in the topics he studies. But he knows far more than even the great professors. He has helped define an entire realm of study through his own work, making him truly remarkable. I've only met a few other characters as intelligent, joyful, and wise as Professor Aveni, and I've treasured my time with them to learn all I can just as I did with Professor Aveni. We are all wiser, better people for the work Aveni has done, and the time we have been able to share with him.
Professor Aveni is a man I hold in the very highest regard, and I can never say enough wonderful things about him!
Congratulations! Does this mean more frequent alumni treks to Central America?