From Russia with Coconuts
Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico – May 31, 2012
…We snorkeled early, but the sea was rough and the water chilly. We walked back to the beach and read under the palapa and had mango margaritas.
Later that afternoon, a young boy shimmied up a nearby palm tree and snagged some bright yellow unripe coconuts. He excitedly showed them to his mom and another lady in the beach chairs near us. I noticed the Russian letters on their beach bag. We tried to converse with them. I took a couple of pictures of the young boy and his mom and said I would send them the photos if they could give me their address. What ensued was hilarious as we tried to communicate; they knew not a word of English, we knew no Russian. Cherie had one of the ladies speak Russian into her iPhone, but the translation was impossible and we all laughed together at our hopeless communication skills.
The boy wrote his name in a back page of my journal as he sat on the end of my beach chair. I asked if he knew English and he firmly shook his head. No! His mother and her friend talked excitedly to one another. Email! That began another furious writing attempt by the boy. For some reason and thinking it would help, the ladies were asking (in Russian) what our room number was at the hotel. Finally the father showed up. He spoke no English either. The ladies had earlier told us they knew some French. He took the journal and wrote his email address, but not before fussing at his wife for apparently being in the sun too long without enough sunblock.
Later that evening in front of the outdoor theatre, the young boy ran to where Cherie and I were sitting. He stood in front of us and smiled. Then he waved. He didn’t say anything. But he didn’t have to. We understood. It was a wave from Russia – with love.