Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thank you for forgiving me, blogger.

In a previous post a told you all about how food was really expensive here. That is because pretty much everything has to be shipped in. But there are some things that are grown here that are not expensive- heck there are even some things that are free! Like these bananas. They grow on NTM's property here, along with coconuts, papaya, and mangoes. (did you know that when you make "mango" plural you have to add an "e"? I didn't! Thank you red, squiggly line) The coconut tree is too tall to get them anytime we want, so we usually just buy those, and the papaya is not our favorite. It has the texture of a melon with a distinct doodie aftertaste. I'll pass on that. But the bananas are delicious!

Did you know that a banana tree only only grows one bunch of bananas, so you just cut the whole thing down when the bunch is ripe? Here is my handsome husband chopping down the tree with his "bush knife" (machete) and the aid of our neighbor's son.

That is a heavy bunch of bananas! But they are no match for JMG! Look at those beefy arms! Perfect for harvesting large quantities of tropical fruit!

Here he is again using those huge muscles to shave some fresh coconut...

There are also some things that are not free, but are cheap because they grow here. Sweet potatoes are one of the main staples here and they grow to be the size of your head. I have seriously never seen sweet potatoes so big! Our language helper went with us to the market yesterday and told us that in PNG they were lucky because they always have "kau kau" here (sweet potatoes), but in Africa they are usually struggling for food. What a great perspective- quite convicting for Americans of any economic status. Anyway... Speaking of produce the size of your head. This pineapple is actually bigger than JMG's noggin...

It was expensive for PNG standards, but cheap for American standards (about $2 USD). It was so big we had to share it with our neighbors, there was no way we could eat that whole thing without having to spend an extraordinary amount of time in the bathroom.

There was some other stuff in the market that was cheap, but we decided to pass on...

Yeah, those are caterpillars. Complete with cocoon. Only like 1 US cent a piece- we are not that desperate yet.

Also these, called "flying foxes"...

They are bats. Again, the size of your head. Scary!! I will not be eating those unless it is unknowingly!

So there you have it. Proof that we won't starve! (at least not while we are in the city, anyway. When we get into the tribe and have to start paying $1.39 per kilo for our food to be flown in- we may be rethinking those bats!!)


  1. I like ripe papaya and have never noticed the aftertaste, which makes me wonder...Anyway, you can also put green papaya in salads and use it for quick pickle type relish. Can you google?

  2. I think the one we ate that tasted like that was over ripe. We had another one later that wasn't that bad. Still not my favorite. And someone here also told us to do the green papaya salad thing, so we might try that one day.