Mango season is coming to an end. A season for new fruits is surely taking its place, but mango season is my favorite and I'm sad to see it pass. Every time I travel to a new place in Kenya, including Mugona, I discover a different type of mango. Outside of my door is a mango tree that produces mangos smaller than your palm. They are yellow inside, juicy and extremely fibrous. These are not a 'first date' appropriate mango, or one you would want to eat on the way out the door. No matter how dainty you try to be (and lets face it, I should not even try), bunches of mango fibers will always lodge themselves in your front teeth. It is better just to embrace the mango mouth. The mangos I buy in the market are bigger than grapefruits, orange on the inside, and by far my favorite. I can only find them in Chuka town. With the move, I now live a 20-30 minute walk from the main road, then a 15 minute matatu ride to chuka. It has taken some adjustment to learn how much food to buy to last a week, and how much I can carry. I've learned my lesson with mangos: when the market mamas told me they were going out of season I freaked and bought 10 of the biggest I could find. It was quite the workout to walk up the road to my house, but completely worth it.
The first few nights in Mugona were accompanied by electricity from a generator, but it has been on and off (mostly off) since then. I have not grown out of the excitement I used to get when the power went out during storms at home. I happily light my candle and read with a mug full of hot chocolate. It would be far more efficient to buy a lantern, but I am too stubborn in my ways.
When I first came to kenya my one request for site placement was to be in a place where I can grow my own food. Namanga was a lot of things, but a place to garden was not one of them. I feel like I've been given a second chance. So far I've started tomato, kale, and spinach plants, accompanied by two mango trees. I have learned that I am an impatient gardener, or maybe I was just too excited. The day after hiding the seeds in the soil I kept looking outside to note their progress. There wasn't any, of course. The day I saw them reaching their little arms up to the sky for the first time, I couldn't help but smile to myself. There is something so rewarding in seeing your garden grow.