Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meeting Some of the Locals

Both of the kids brought along their allowance money that they had been saving. Because money seems to burn holes in Henry's pockets, he couldn't wait to purchase a piece of handmade jewelry from one of the many local 'artists.' After seeing several different pieces that he really liked, he met Calvin. Calvin is this cool, laid-back Rasta who let Henry design his own piece. They worked together to choose the prettiest and most special beads in his lot. The largest bead in the center of Henry's necklace isn't a bead at all - it is a mangrove seed. The locals call it "deer eye." When you rub it along a hard surface, it gets really hot and gives off a clean smell (kind of like soap). As reported by Calvin, "It is very special, Mon," and will bring Henry lots of luck (he may need it)!

While on our bike ride through the jungle yesterday, we were greeted by a couple of local boys, Viktor (8) and Brian (6). They were out collecting Coco Plums - a local fruit that grows wild on the island. There are a couple different varieties: pink, black and purple. The boys were collecting the pink ones and generously offered some to us. They are a small fruit - a little bigger than a large olive - with a bright white meat. They have little flavor, no juice and a dry, powdery texture. Though I don't see the allure of the Coco Plum, I'm sure they are one of the few sources of fresh fruit that are easily accessible to the locals and, therefore, considered a delicacy.

Caye Caulker is different than other, more touristy places than we have been in that there is only a small number of locals who try to scam the visitors. Unfortunately, they keep finding me. While at The Split today, a friendly woman named Kim talked me into having Caroline's nails painted. "Only $1," she said. I figured that was a bargain, and Caroline looked excited, so I agreed. She spent a lot of time talking about her own daughter which just drew me in more and more. After the beachside mani/pedi (which I would NEVER have paid for in the States), she said, "$20 Belize ($10 US), please." When I questioned her, she said that the $1 price was for a hair braid (which she briefly mentioned but I ignored because I wasn't interested in any more braids). What a sucker! Live and learn . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment