Coconuts! Dry or young, all delicious

IMG_0915Parrots squawk and zip by overhead. Clouds blanket the sky above, trapping moist, hot air beneath them and all around us. Jamaica is buzzing with back-to-school madness, as parents scrape together money for books and school fees and children wonder where the summer has gone.

This is our last week of freedom before the school year begins.

As I quickly began to realize that the summer is slipping away, I rushed to enjoy myself! Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone on two road trips with my host family, visited PCV friends on the South Coast and hit up Treasure Beach, saw Guardians of the Galaxy and fed baby goats (!!!) in Mandeville (a stush city), watched baby box sea turtles get released into the ocean (click here for info), wandered around the cruise ship pier in Falmouth, and played with lots of babies.

While visiting my host family’s extended family in St. Elizabeth, we reaped the benefits of their coconut and pear (avocado) trees. You know those coconuts that you always see tourists drinking with straws? Those are young coconuts, or jelly, and real Jamaicans don’t actually use straws. After hacking them open with a machete (ma-shet), you guzzle down the delicious coconut water, then chop the coconut in half and scrape out all of the “jelly” (soft, young coconut flesh). As is expected, it’s much tastier than my beloved C2O brand canned coconut water from back home.

Uncle Chris hacking open a jelly
Uncle Chris hacking open a jelly

In the US, we’re accustomed to seeing dry coconuts. Those are the kind you can shred and bake with. Essentially, these are young coconuts that are allowed to dry out and are then husked. Check out this sweet (read: cheesy) video I made to see how it’s done! 

I’ve got one more long distance trip planned, staff meetings to attend, needs assessments to be done and a classroom to be decorated – all before school starts back up on Monday!

Ahright, mi gone. Lieta! 

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