|Trimming palm trees and harvesting coconuts|
Thwack! Thwack! Swinging the sharp machete hard, he lopes off a bunch. Tying a rope around the stems of the coconuts, he slowly lowers the payload towards a friend on the ground.
The worker is harvesting coconuts from the palm trees on the public beaches, clearing the potential hazards before they tumble down on the heads of unsuspecting sunbathers.
|Turning the fresh nuts into beverages|
He has climbed a ladder instead of romantically shinnying up the tree to pick the harvest. The freshly harvested coconuts are sold to the vendors and restaurants for six pesos or about fifty cents each, to be turned into nourishing beverages.
A job harvesting coconuts? Sorry, it’s not available in Canada.
A little further on the same beach a group of fishermen are busy repairing nets, weaving new stands into the broken pieces, and clearing out the debris entangled in the nets. While they work the tang of salt, and fish, and seaweed floats on the air.
|Weaving a new net|
Another fisherman holds a wooden bobbin with fingertips covered in adhesive tape to limit friction injuries. He is creating a new nylon net. His actions are rhythmic, smooth, and familiar. The movements remind me of a time in the mid-seventies when I owned a loom, and fancied myself an artisan – weaving place mats, scarves, shawls and wall hangings to gift to unsuspecting friends and family members. “Uh, what is this?” was unfortunately a frequent response to my gifts.
Closer to the northern end of Rueda Medina a beach vendor strides past, carefully balancing a tray of peanuts and snacks on his head.
“Cacahuates! Cacahuates!” His posture and graceful movements are enviable.
Watching him brought back more memories; memories of when my sisters and I were teenagers. Our parents frequently admonished us to walk with confidence; stand tall, head up, shoulders back, and smile.
At times smiling at everyone I see has been a bit troublesome. In some cities if you smile at strangers you are perceived as being a bit looney. In my case I am channeling my parents instructions, and compensating for being somewhat short-sighted.
|Eloy also known as “Dollar” selling his snacks|
Meanwhile all around us on the streets of Isla Mujeres, mobile vendors ply their trade selling newspapers or popcorn, Oaxaca cheese or pastries, shoes or tamales, cold drinks or clay pots. Each vendor announces his products with accompanying shouts, whistles, bicycle bells or horns. The sounds, the movement and the colours all add to the allure of living here.
If I was still working, my job of choice would be to deliver the thousands of wriggling recently-hatched baby turtles to the beaches. I would like to be the person who starts them on their arduous journey to freedom.
|2013 thousands of baby turtles about to be released|
Turtle release specialist? Another unusual job not available in Canada.
Lynda & Lawrie