Ritang takes a water pail from the bamboo counter in the middle of the yard to fetch water at the nearby well. When she returns, she washes the teibu, the empty coconut shells her father will use to collect the toddy (coconut palm sap).
Getting toddy is not a simple thing. The nourishing sap is collected from a coconut palm bud whose young shoot must be bent slowly during several days so that the sap can run down into an empty teibu. The bud is cut very carefully, so that the sap will flow for a day but the bud will not be ruined. The quantity of toddy depends, not on the size of the bud or the tree, but on the quality of the man’s cut. This delicate operation Terewati now performs at the top of tall coconut trees.
“Toddy” on ground coconut accompanied with home made bread, I remember it as one of the best breakfast of the world.
Bakea sits on a mat to grind coconut. She distributes the juicy white bits into cups. Her husband comes back shortly with the toddy, and Bakea sets it over the hot fire until it boils. Then she pours it over the coconut and breaks pieces of homemade bread into it. Delicious.