Yesterday, I visited the home of a Timorese friend, Anita. Her backyard has a banana tree that towers over the household kitchen sink. There are young bananas on the tree and my dear friend Vina suggests we cook with them later this week.
Alright – I’m in.
Later that afternoon my younger ‘sister’, Apolonia takes me to the local market in Becora. I’d been itching to go all afternoon, but the market kicks off at sunset at the bus terminal as people are coming home from work or returning from journeys outside of Dili.
By the time we get to the market, everything looks good. Apolonia points out banana flowers and pays a dollar for two. I ask the stallholder, a young girl, for a papaya. We buy greens too, cassava leaves, to boil with rice for our dinner. We have a tasty dinner of fried chicken, rice, our greens, a salad of lettuce, tomato, onion and vinegar, and finish our meal with papaya. The sweet and dark orange flesh falls easily off the skin when you stick a spoon in it.
We all eat the papaya in silence. Until someone cracks a joke and then it’s nothing but laughter.
~ Heidi x