Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cutting off my coconuts

Did you know that more people are killed every year by falling coconuts than by lightning strikes? Understandably then, I am paranoid about the coconuts in the one tree I have left on my back patio. They represent (to me anyway!) a great danger. In fact, I once got hit on the shoulder by one and my oldest cat was missed by inches. So when the tree fills up with coconuts, they gotta go!

I don't have a ladder long enough to reach up there anymore and I mentioned this to Luis, my carpenter. No problemo! He knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody and he would just borrow the ladder and come chop them out. He showed up about 6pm last night with a friend in tow.

Here they are tying the ladder (which was a bit too short!) to the tree.

Next he scurried on up and started swinging that machete.

As you can see, the tree was loaded.

The whole thing was a bit dangerous. He is so short, the tree is so tall and he was swinging that thing well above his head.

His helper wisely tried to stay out of the way. Not only of the falling coconuts but the branches he was trimming and the debris and red ants that were swarming out of it.

In this picture, you can see the mess that was accumulating. That giant white wall on the right side of the picture is part of the wall of my neighbor, Mr Asshole's, giant house. It is actually legal here to build on the property line and touch your neighbors house.

When everything was chopped off, we carried the debris to his truck and threw it in the back. He was going to take it to the town dump. He did save out two of the largest coconuts to take home to his boys so they could drink the milk.

Total cost for this project? 100 pesos, or just under $10USD. I gave him another 50 pesos to cover the expense of taking it to the dump and just because I thought the job was worth more than what he was charging. I know, I am helping to ruin the economy. At least that's what the cheap gringos tell me. I believe fair pay for fair work. Plus he is not only my carpenter but my friend as well.

And he possibly saved somebody's life by getting rid of those dangerous coconuts!

1 comment:

1st Mate said...

I don't think paying a little extra is going to ruin the economy. You can always call it a propina. And he risked his life to do the job, whether he saw it that way or not. Good for you.