Live & Retire in Mexico


Part 2

by Dobie

Lorena's Note: Dobie and Sergio are homesteading in a former coconut plantation on Mexico's Pacific Coast. From their latest update:

Tarzan never returned.

We made a deal with El Valiente to cut all the old coconuts from the palm trees. El Valiente didn't climb the trees like Tarzan did - he used a machete blade tied to a long piece of bamboo. Actually he had several of these in different lengths - some of the palms are really tall. Boom, boom, boom, the cocos fell. He only worked until noon, because that's when the wind comes up and sometimes the cocos fall by themselves. You certainly wouldn't want to be under a tree and have one of those puppies fall on your head.

Today Martin, Omar and I loaded the cocos into the back of Sergio's truck, getting about 350 in each truckload. Then we drove them to the "processing plant" in town, basically a big concrete yard with mountains of cocos everywhere.

In one corner there are several people working (scooping out the meat), protected from the blazing sun by a few palm leaves draped over some rickety poles. They cut the cocos open, let them dry out, and then scoop out the meat, which gets used for coconut candy, oil, etc. It looks like a job from hell. When he was a boy, Martin worked there for a few hours every day after school. He said it was a lot worse than going to school!

We unloaded the cocos two at a time, counting out loud, while the duena stood there with her clipboard, making a mark every time we got to 100. The final count was 1,952 cocos. Hot and sweaty, but feeling very satisfied, I dropped Martin and Omar off at their house, stopping for a few of Rosa's delicious tacos de frijoles.

I hopped back into the truck, looking forward to a refreshing plunge in the ocean, but unfortunately when I turned the key in the ignition, nothing happened. No signs of life. I opened the hood, and gazed at battery in dismay. One of the wires was attached to the totally encrusted terminal by merely a strand of wire. The wire was already pulled fairly tight, so I wasn't able to cut it and reattach it.

So I took off for the beach on Omar's bicycle in search of jumper cables. Borrowed the jumper cables, biked back to town, found someone with a vehicle that had a decent battery, and after a quick jump start, I was on my way home.

Now the trees are full of small green cocos which will grow big and yummy (after we turn the soil with a tractor). We'll cut them green next time (to sell for the water inside them -- a popular drink in Mexico). They're worth twice as much money that way. In a few months I'll give you the next harvesting report.

BTW: Mexicans have some very blunt, descriptive and often poetic nicknames. Not just Lupe for Guadalupe or Chuy for Jesus, but names like L'Anguilla (the eel) for a tall, skinny fellow; La Mosca (the fly) for someone with a big mole on his cheek; Pico de Oro (golden beak) for the guy with a mouthful of gold teeth; Chile Jalapeno for the man who is short, fat and muy bravo, Pito Sucio (dirty penis) - I wonder who gave him that name....

To Be Continued

Women In Mexico
The Best Of Mexico
Live & Retire in Mexico
©1972-2000 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens
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