Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mad Coconut Skills

I am trying to locate my exact mood right now so I know how to proceed with our weekly blog. Maybe if I talk it out, that will help.  First, I am feeling a bit dirty because I spent time in the market today, and whenever I do that I get waves of (ready for this?) dried blood smell all day long - gross.  Next, I am feeling light because the mid-term school break started today, so we have more flexibility in our schedule and I am looking forward to just hanging out as a family.  Also, I’m feeling curious to know whether I will be sad this weekend, as it’s the first holiday away from family and friends.  Last, I am feeling surprised by the fact that I have to marinate my Easter leg of lamb for three days...  yes, three...  it’s already in the refrigerator - until Sunday.  So, I guess I will write a little bit of this and little bit of that, because obviously I have several feelings roaming around.  Okay, I will not say the word feeling anymore, some of you may just be a bit nauseous over it (I know I am).

So, this week was the big parent’s week at Hebron.  Most parents of the boarding students come in from all over south Asia and visit their kids, as well as have teacher conferences, swimming competitions, variety shows, etc...  I must admit that I got a bit misty-eyed watching some of the reunions between child and parent.  Ani was in her first drama.  She is my oldest, so to me, she is not young - I mean she can change a diaper and make scrambled eggs - what more do you want?  But compared to all the other students, she was quite small.  She spoke clearly, loudly and with great enthusiasm (and got rousing approval and laughter from the audience).  We would love to put it up on YouTube but the right cord for the camera is still in the States... maybe after dad brings that in June.

Do you know that the first time I/we do anything here, it ends in either chaos or disaster?  It has gotten to the point that if I do not have enough gumption or adventurous spirit in me that day - I just refuse to do the one new thing.  At first it was funny, then it was discouraging, now its just reality.  But you know what, we are starting to do things two, three or four times.  I am getting better at some of our weekly chores.  Like I feel I can do just about anything in the market - I bought 60 eggs, a leg of lamb, 4 chickens, a load of produce and 30 coconut leaf plates today.  If you were to come with me, I think I would feel prideful about it, that’s how far I have come.  And going to the next town over, Coonoor, the first time, Ani nearly passed out because she was so motion sick, and we ate at the most expensive place in town, and then we just went home because we couldn’t handle it anymore. When we went back to Coonoor last Sunday, Ani sat in the front with a bottle of Sprite, we enjoyed  “Quality” restaurant for about three US dollars, we went antiquing (yes, with the kids) and finished the day with a birthday party.  So, I write this knowing that there are still many “firsts” ahead of us, but I know I can come rely on some confidence that I am gaining.

Speaking of firsts, I opened my first coconut this weekend.  I have gotten used to this certain look in some of the locals’ eyes when I either pretend to know what I am doing or ask a ridiculous question.  I have almost become endeared to it.  One of those endearing looks came last Saturday when I was curious about how to open a coconut.  There was a handyman over fixing a leak and I took out my big ole’ carving knife and tried to go at it, trying to crack the coconut open.  It didn’t budge.  So, I took it out to the handyman and asked him how to open the coconut...  he took it over to a stone step of ours, gave it a good whack and coconut milk came pouring out...  love it.  So today, I tried it, with the kids, attempting to wow them with my mad coconut skills, bringing it out to the same step, and giving it a whack... nothing.  So, I hung my head low, brought it in to Josephine, our house help - she took it outside, gave it a whack and out came the coconut milk --- maybe next time Tarrah.

Quick note, I need to give a shout out to the Bemidji State University Hockey Team.  For those of you who do not know, I grew up in Bemidji, MN.  My parents still live there, as well as friends and family.  Well, Bemidji is a smallerish town and its made it all the way to the “Frozen Four” in the NCAA Division 1 hockey tournament.  They even had to beat Notre Dame to get there... all in a days work.  

Hoping for a meaningful Passover and Easter with your family and friends,



Scott said...

Your coconut battle reminds me of home (South America). I learned to drill or pound a hold through one of the eyes (hammer and nail), then pour out the milk and save it. The hole seems to weaken the structure, allowing it to crack easier under a hammer or rock. Save the milk and put it in simmering dishes with fish or chicken, but only during the last minute. It goes great with any blend of spices, such as garlic, cilantro, chili peppers, onions, etc. Fish and coconut milk combine wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

I wish I would have known about your coconut dilemma. My dad was born and raised in Hawaii and has mad coconut skills! He would be a worthy advisor to you. That being said, I always bring odd fruits to our Thanksgiving breakfast. This year, I found at Whole Foods that they have organic, pre-cracked coconuts. Brilliant! Sorry...that comment probably didn't help. However, I am sure your coconut tasted way better! - Dori

Sarah said...

your stories are wonderfully written. really, tarrah, i treasure time spent reading whenever a new post comes out. love to know every detail of what is going on there, so keep it coming!