September 13, 2012

Isaiah..coconut juice vendor

this is Isaiah Boltey.  he is a hard-working young man selling coconut juice on the side of the road in East Legon (the area of Accra where we live).

while he waits for a sale, he lays in the shade under the trees where a plant nursery is located.  when i pull up in the car and roll the window down, he is always so full of joy to greet my driver and me.  he and the driver speak the local language, Twi, together, but since he is from the Central Region he speaks it differently so it makes them laugh a lot each time they are together.

with a machete, Isaiah takes the coconut and skillfully chops off the top sides of the coconut.  he then gives the top piece a side chop to open it just enough without it falling off.  before choosing a coconut he will ask us if we want the soft or hard type -- this refers to the coconut meat, whether you like it soft or hard (i like the hard, dry type; the other type is easier to chew but it feels too smushy sometimes).  after we drink the juice, we give the coconut back to him and he scrapes the coconut meat out and puts the pieces in a plastic bag for us to take away.  it amazes me that he can tell which kind of coconut meat is inside; all of the coconuts look the same to me.

i met Isaiah last year when we moved to this section of the city.  he exudes gratitude and radiance.  he works for someone who provides the coconuts from another region.  each coconut sells for 60 pesawas each (which is about .40 cents).  i give him extra change whenever i have it.  surely he is blessed for striving each day to earn his living honestly and with determination and perseverance..  his goal is to work for himself so that he can earn enough money to save and plan for his future.

"It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others."

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 26)

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