Reinventing the Coconut

In order to properly write about injustice in the hard areas of the world, I need to go to those places and observe first hand.  I need to sit in the dicey shade of thrown-together shelters that dot the sand-swept landscape in Sudan’s refugee camps.  I need to talk to third-generation bonded laborers in India—in many cases, virtual slaves—still in bondage because it’s impossible to pay off the soaring interest loans that originally amounted to a handful of dollars.  I need to listen to the stories of girls who were kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery—or far too often, sold by their poverty-stricken families. 

Going there isn’t easy.  The stories are so hard to hear.  And then the places themselves are so… well… miserable.

Hot, hot, hot!  And there’s never enough good water to really quench one’s thirst.

But just today I read about a wonderful drink for just such climes—coconut water!  Turns out that drinking from a coconut is an excellent way to rehydrate oneself.  One U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official—who called coconut water “the fluid of life”—noted that it contains the same five electrolytes found in human blood. Seems that in medical emergencies it has actually been used intravenously! (Fortunately, I’ve only had call to drink it.)

Who knew?  I drank it because I had nothing else.

The FAO just got a patent to bottle coconut water in a way that will preserve its nutrients.  Hmmmm…  Out in the middle of nowhere, in 120 degree heat, I always thought the original packaging worked pretty well!

“There is sweet water inside a tender coconut.  Who poured the water inside the coconut?  Was it the work of any man?  No.  Only the Divine can do such a thing.”

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


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