The Beach of Berries

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How fun it was to collect berries! Abijith (Abi) and Gotham told me they were poisonous. I thought they were lying, so I filled a cup with water, then put the berry inside. I let the berry soak in the water, then took it out. I offered them a drink, but they refused. Then Suneil, Abi’s father, told me that the berries were not poisonous, but too hard too eat. So my mom decided to make some kind of rattle with them. We used half a coconut shell, some of the red berries, and a plastic bag.

We also learned some Malayalam, the local language of Kerala. We learned the word for “hello”, “namaskaaram“, and the world for “plastic bag”, “sañci“. The sunset was beautiful, too.

One day we saw Saint Angelo’s Fort. It was small, and it looked like a walled cliff-side backyard with a cobblestone walkway and man-made caves. We also saw Theyyam. A man with a face painted so brilliantly danced using his feet, to bless a new home. We also had New Year’s at our hotel. We lit sparklers, had a cake, and did the countdown with our hosts, since we were the only guests there.

During our last day, we were lounging out on the hammocks, when a lot of leaves and a stick floated down. We looked up, and saw a wet branch. Then, the branch started to move. It was a snake! We were not in danger, because it was only a rat snake. It was nearly two yards long, though! We watched it crawl from branch to branch, then it used a couple of trees to climb down like an acrobat. Then it slithered away, never to be seen again.

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