Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coconut Oil Making

We wanted to visit our next door neighbor so we got in our kayaks and went for a visit. It was very exciting. I sat in the back of Dad’s kayak and was trolling for fish. A nice man from the local resort lent us a fishing rod. This made me very happy and I’ve been using it a lot. Beneath the water swayed turtle grass. And up above sat an overcast sky but it was still warm. We kayaked up to Raymond’s front door. Raymond is our neighbor and visits us a lot at the marine station. This is the first time we went to visit him.

We saw how Raymond makes his coconut oil. He grates the meat of 30 coconuts and pours hot water over it so that the fat floats to the top. When it cools and solidifies, he puts it in a big cooking pot over a wood fire. He cooks it until the oil separates, the water evaporates and the solids toast. The toasted solids are what give the oil its good flavor and the solid called maya is discarded. We believe that maya is Creole for the left over’s or remainders. This takes about 2 hours to cook.

We made perfect dream boats out of coconut husk. Coconut husks are the parts of the coconut that surround the nut. People usually throw this away. But we found a new use for them since they float real well and have the perfect natural shape of a boat. They are very very buoyant and don’t soak up a lot of water which would make them sink. We then put bright red almond tree leaves on them for great wind catching sails. Almond trees grow wild on Black Bird Caye and the nuts inside taste good if you have a machete and the ability to crack them. As for our dream boats, we think they made it all the way to the Virgin Islands.

We found a really cool bug on near the beach. It was big with a wing span of over 3 1/2 inches and it was black with metalize blue color. It has the face and mouth of a wasp. Raymond called it a hunter bee. He said it only comes out certain times of the year and lives in rotten tree stumps. He said it was not dangerous if you don’t bother it. His land had lots of other treasures.

We caught little land crabs to use as fish bait. We turned over logs in the high strand and found a few. They tried to pinch but I knew a trick. My trick is to grab them behind their claws so they can’t pinch. We also saw a pretty blue crab that was too big to catch for bait. When my Dad got way too close, the crab shot like a shooting star back into its burrow. That’s the last we saw of him.

On our way home we saw two tropical or couch’s kingbird catching white butterflies. Kingbirds are a type of flycatcher with a bright yellow chest. I tried fishing with my new crab bait on patch reefs. I didn’t catch any there but I caught lots of grunts off the pier at the marine station. A grunt is a type of fish that can make grunts noises when it’s out of water. We threw most of them back but kept a few for bait.

This is the first entry in my new blog. I hope to write about nature and life of Turneffe Atoll in Belize. We are on a special island called Blackbird Caye. It is only six miles long. It is named after the grackle bird with is a black bird with a very long tail. The grackles get into a lot of trouble by bothering with other birds’ nests. They also can imitate lots of bird calls and also man made noises like electric screwdrivers and squeaky doors. They are like mocking birds.

P.S. If anyone wants a pen pal in Belize, I would be really interested in being your pen pal too. I have an email address at suephia@gmail.com. I will gladly write back to you. You can also write on my blog about what is going on in your world.


  1. i really like your blog it is very interesting i think you have learned a lot about Belize. It seems to me that you are having a lot of fun. I would gladly like to be a pen pal.

    best wishes,
    Oliver Marks

  2. Wow, I really enjoyed your visit to your neighbor. What a great description of the process of getting oil out of coconuts! Keep your blog going. I am going to try and share it with my environmental club of 4th and 5th graders. I hope I can get to the site at my school. Sometimes they block certain sites. Say hi to your mom and pop for me.
    Until next time,

  3. hi sophia im from hubert ,o sibely in miami fl i would love to say that i love the blog and how is it in belize i hear that your homeschooled enything u learn i want to now about


  4. I really liked your blog , it seems like there is a lot of cool stuff in Belize. I would like to read more about your life in Belize. I would really like to visit Belize one day.

    sincerly, a proud member of the Junior Green leaves club ,C-jay

  5. i like this story it seems like you have fun in home school.Is it fun to you? How does it feel to have home school in belize?You put voice in that story it seem like i was there?great job!

    sincerly,Dandre Pierre,junior greenleaves from hubert o. sibley

  6. Sophie! This is such a great blog!!! I love it! Hopefully, you remember me from RSMAS and my glass-bubble office outside the Dean. Did you know I got married in Belize 19 years ago, and we even own a bit of land on Caye Caulker? Hopefully, we can come visit you guys sometime in the not-too-distant future! We LOVE Belize. That's why I think you are pretty lucky to live there. Your writing is great and it sounds like you have great stuff to write about, too! Can't wait to read the next entry. I may share this with my son's 4th grade teacher since they may like following your news since we now live in GERMANY!!!!! That's quite a bit different, eh? Glad to see and hear you are having such fun. I miss my kayak and love hearing how you use yours to "see the neighborhood!" Take care-- Ivy Kupec

  7. i like your blog it seems very interesting.
    Do you like living in belize ?
    Why did you write this blog ?

    sincerely, abigail from the Hubert .O. Sibley junior green leaves club

  8. Hi Sophie! I am so happy to see photos of you and read about your adventures in Belize. It looks like you are having an amazing experience. I can't wait to hear more.
    Big hug,
    P.S. Please say hello to your Mom and Dad
    Miss you!

  9. Hi Sophie! We are so glad to hear from you! Joy was just asking aobut you yesterday . . . Keep writing so we can feel closer and know what you are doing.

    Justine and Sammy

  10. Hi Sophie, WOW!!!!! yall are having lots of fun. I can close my eyes and then I am there with you. dream, dream, dreams come true. there are several kids here who are home schooled and I have contacted their parents. everyone is excited and hopes they can be your pen pals. I love the pictures and the coconut oil.....can this guy some yummy coconut cream to cook your fish in....yum, yum. I love you and have you in my heart and thoughts every day. thank you for doing this blog. love and hugs, aunty barb

  11. Go Sophie, tell us more........

  12. Hey Sophie my name is Brianna and I just want to tell you that I love your blog.Also that im a nature lover like you.I love animals,plants and nature like you.Sophie, Why did you make this blog? Are you loving your life right now?