Monday, January 13, 2014

The African Fruit Basket!


Sunday, January 12th, President Wheeler and I went to visit Delsie Mithembu.  Delsie is a single Mother with two little boys and one adorable little girl.  One of her sons has been diagnosed as "MR" and also has cerebal palsy.  He has been accepted in to a special school for high need children in Port Elizabeth.  During the school year, Delsie takes her son and moves to Port Elizabeth where she attends college working on her degree as a social worker.  We wanted to visit with her before she left.  When school is not in session she live with her mother in Port Alfred.  

While we were at Delsie's, her mother brought out this little plate of mini-bananas.  I mentioned I had not seen these in the grocery store.  She took me outside to their backyard and showed me the tree where the banana grew.  Who knew.  We see these trees all over in Port Alfred and I did not know they were banana trees.  If you have never eaten a fresh banana well let  me just say, yum, yum!  They are so sweet!

This is Delsie's Mother and our goofy Elders with Sonwambile (we call him Soso).

 Look at these tiny little critters.  I heard someone call them "cherry bananas"

 Evidently, if you hold a banana to your ear you receive communication from the great banana in the sky???

 I took this pix with my phone so it isn't real clear.  Can you see the bunch of bananas we are pointing to?

 We drove to Port Elizabeth on Monday to do some shopping and meet with another senior couple for some R & R.  Port Elizabeth is about an hour and 45 minutes from PA.  All along the highway we saw women sitting by the side of the road holding these little green things. I finally persuaded President Wheeler to stop and see what they were.  We pulled over and I asked this woman what she was holding.  She looked at me like I was cuckoo.  I pulled the "I am from America line" and then she told me they are Prickley Pears.  O.K. says I.  What are they?  She then took out a knife and sliced through the skin of one and it produced a fruit that looked a lot like a kiwi.  We took a bite and were quite impressed.  We bough a grocery bag full of them for $1.50.
Prickley pears are the fruit of a cactus.  They pick them and they have little sticker about a half inch long growing from each of the dots you see on them.  One of our branch members told me that the Xhosa women's hands become so callused that they can pick them without even the stickers bothering them.  They roll them in sand until the stickers fall out and then market them on the side of the highway.

This is what the fruit looks like when it is peeled.  Most just eat them like you would any fruit, but you can juice them or make jam out of them.

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