If you haven’t heard before that your chances of dying because of getting struck by lightning is outweighed by your chance of dying due to a falling coconut, let me assure you that this must be true. Though it was pouring from the sky, Louis, Moti and I decided to drive to the Rock Islands after dinner on Monday night to collect coconuts that had fallen from the trees. After driving through the stinging downpour for a while, we maneuvered our boat to a small beach hidden by overhanging tree branches. There used to be a nice house here but over the years it had been abandoned and fallen to pieces. Now, all that remains are some corroded tin roof panels and lots of coconut trees. The ground was strewn with coconuts and we collected as many as we would be able to use back at the house. Some would be used to plant and grow near the house, others would go to the pig, and whatever was left could be eaten or used for firewood. One of the first things that the two other coconut collectors told me that evening was watch out for falling coconuts. There’s a reason why we were out on this tiny island in the middle of heavy rainfall. Most of the coconuts had fallen because of the weather!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the coconut trees at the house

One of my friends here, Dodong from the Philippines told me that he truly thought of coconut trees as the miracle plant. The bark could be used to make medicinal ointments; the nuts provide a variety of cosmetic purposes, and the inside of the fruit can either be used as a beverage, for flavoring in tapioca and other dishes, or simply eaten. When the coconut is still fresh from the tree and was picked when it was young, the meat inside is very soft and can be scooped out using a spoon. The more the coconut matures, the thicker and harder the meat inside becomes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADodong on our crab hunting trip on the Rock Islands

That was a very memorable evening adventure. Driving through the rain, collecting coconuts, and coming back with a boat full of coconuts and quite a bit of water (due to the heavy rain).

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