After disembarking from the house boat, we set out for Kollam, a town on the southern coast of Kerala. The hotel we stayed at, Sea Pearl, had really comfortable beds and offered good access to the surrounding area.
While in Kollam, we taxied to the nearby Munroe Island Village (Munro Thuruthu) in order to better understand rural India. The area itself was tranquil, pristine, and calm. Our guide was a riot and had a great sense of humor. He took us through the quiet backwaters of the village via wooden canoe. The river we travelled on serves as the heart of the village geographically and economically, with the most popular jobs being sand collection, coir making, and prawn farming. Coir is the fibrous pulp stripped from a dried coconut. India being one of the world's leading producers of coconut, also exports one of the greatest amounts of coir. Coir is used to make the bristly doormats many of us have and can be spun into a course yarn. Coir is also the only fiber resistant to the corrosiveness of sea water, and is therefore used to make fishing nets. Each year, India produces over 300,000 tons of coir (see "Coir Making" under 'Useful Links').
Speaking of coconuts, during our float down, a man climbed a palm tree for us, harvested 10 coconuts, and, just like that, we all had the freshest tender coconut you could ever have. It reminded me of when I eat apples right off of the trees in my dad's garden during the fall. Tender coconut water is a great hydrator and has many other health benefits (not to mention it is very tasty!).
Overall, I was quite humbled by the non-extravagant functionality of the community. One of the biggest things I realized on this tour is that there are many jobs that I did not realize existed. For example, I would have never thought of the labor put behind stripping a coconut for its fibers and making a doormat, but now that I have seen it and understand its existence, I can further appreciate that we take some of the smaller things for granted sometimes and that there is human work behind almost everything and anything in today's world. I am grateful to have had this experience not only because I learned a lot, but because the views were stunning as well. Pictures below.
Tranquility. Munro Thuruthu, India.
I know this goat bears resemblance to someone I know...ah yes! Now I remember! Kyle Suvada.
The colorful temple is not easily missed from the river's edge.
Used to make coir rope!
Group picture with our tender coconuts!
South India is so lush!
Tom found a swing when we took a break from the boat, and I have never seen him happier! Smriti gave him a push, and it was adorable!
The blue nets are so birds do not eat all the prawns that the prawn farmers harvest and take to market!
Sarah-Anne and I! :D
The Ambassador car was the first mass-owned car in India and you can still see a lot of them in certain places.
When Emilie drives the boat ;)
Many times on travel week, I felt as if I was in a post card.
Thank you for reading my thoughts from Day 4 of Travel Week! I hope to have Kanyakumari and Nagercoil (Day 5 and 6, Travel Week) out within the next couple of days. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below or email me :)