If you don’t eat mangos that fall on the ground, be sure to be strong enough to pick ones – African Proverb
It’s mango season in Kisangani. That means that, from young boys to old women, everyone is climbing up mango trees in search of that delicious pulp. It also means that no matter where one walks – whether it’s through the city markets or the dense jungle – there are mangos EVERYWHERE. Fortunately, I just so happen to love mango anything – which makes mango season a perfect first installment in the reasons I love Africa series.
Over the past week, we have been having mango as our desert for lunch. It’s a rare treat for an American who is used to spending at least 50 cents to $1 per mango. Yet here, they fall and rot on the ground in some places because there are simply too many to eat.
Our yard has two mango trees that our guards and gardeners have been regularly harvesting using a traditional method over the past week. One person climbs the tree with a crude device that resembles a lacrosse stick which he uses to collect the fruit with. The other person stands below the tree with a sack (usually the ones used to transport grains), and catches the fruit as the climber throws it down. This morning, a small boy and one of our gardeners managed to fill an entire 50 kg grain sack with mangos in about 1 hour!