One thing that I really appreciated in Japan was the seasonal availability of food. During the fall, you could get persimmon and fresh edamame. During the winter, there were a lot of gourds available, such as pumpkin, spring time brought cherry blossom desserts, and the summer lots of fruit. I am finding that the same situation is here in Tanzania and it makes me so happy! In America, for a price, you can get just about anything whenever you want. It really takes away from appreciating the food available to you. Being from New York, the only thing I can think of that was abundantly noticeable in season were apples. When we arrived to our village here in Tanzania, potatoes were plentiful, as you may recall from all of the free potatoes we were receiving. But, now, it’s the growing season for potatoes. Everywhere we look around us, there are not barren potato fields, but fields bursting with the growing life of a potato. The plants are two to three feet tall with flowers peaking out of the top quietly informing us that their potatoes are flourishing underneath the dirt. So, it’s not potato season, but it is peach season! For the last three weeks, we can’t keep up with the amount of peaches given to us. The first time we were graciously given some peaches, Jon was riding to the village and greeted an older lady. She was so happy that he spoke Swahili, the next thing he knows, she has invited him to pick peaches off her tree. He did and came home with about 7-8 peaches. When we were running low on the peaches, he went to the market and bought two for 100 shillings which is equivalent to less than a penny. But, the man said, even though you paid for two, take six; I can’t get rid of them fast enough. Thursday was a beautiful, sunny day, a rarity in our village. Jon and I rode into our village to enjoy the sunshine. On our way home, we greeted three ladies sitting outside a house. Again, they were so happy that we greeted them, they invited us to pick peaches from their tree. We took about 6 more and they were insistent that we have more. Just yesterday, our neighbor brought us three more peaches from a tree in another teacher’s yard. We have grand hopes to bake something delicious with all of these peaches, but it takes so long to bake stuff here, I am unsure we will ever do anything but just continue eating them when they get ripe. I am excited for potatoes to be ready to harvest and am also excited to see what other foods become so abundant that we keep receiving them for free.
Just a small sampling of how many peaches we have received for free!