Anyway, when I returned to my host family, there were three boys in the patio/courtyard cracking coconuts! (See pictures) I was really surprised, and completely entranced by them. After watching the for a few minutes, I went and grabbed my camera, and showed them and asked if it was alright if I take a picture. One of the boys – who I ended up agreeing later – freaked out and said “No No No” so I said okay, I won’t take a picture of you, but one of the others jumped up eagerly to get his photo taken. The first then asked me if I was going to put it up for sale in France. First, I was flattered that they though my French was good enough for me to be from France, and second, that I could actually take pictures of that caliber. I told him “Non, c’est pour moi et ma famille” - for me and my family. Then he decided that it was okay that I take a picture of him. Then I was going to take a picture of some coconuts before and after being peeled, and he over-eagerly piled them up for me. It was very considerate. Then I was kind of worried that he was going to try to hit on me and try to marry me, so I decided to go to my room until they left.
That evening, my host mother banged on my door and handed me a coconut to drink the milk, and another coconut to eat. I ate so much coconut on Friday night I thought I was going to be sick. But it was also the freshest coconut I will ever have in my entire life.
My mom will appreciate this next story (that only Unalaska people will appreciate the most) – one time when we were kids, we were going to a birthday party, and she thought it would be a great idea to bring something different to the birthday. SO, we went to Carl’s Grocery and bought a coconut (yes, very long time ago. I think it was 7 or 8). We brought the coconut to the birthday party, and sure enough everyone was really excited, but when we cracked it open, it had already started rotting on the inside (To explain – it takes SO LONG for things to get to us, at least it used to take much longer, that it was always really expensive to purchase produce, and often times it was on the verge of rotting because it was so old by the time we got it. For a long time, Unalaska residents didn’t eat much produce unless they grew it themselves). That was my first experience with a real coconut, needless to say, this one was much better.
The boy who didn't want me to take his picture.
The third boy, still arduously working to crack those coconuts! Very difficult.