Monday, May 4, 2009

Mango Season/Sunday at Prisca's

Mango season - trees heavy with ripening fruit, mango peels litter the ground
photo credits Halle Butvin

It's not all that common for my trips to Gulu to include a full, non-working Sunday. Yesterday was one of those unique days, so I took a trip out to Prisca's for an overdue cooking class #2 (read about cooking class #1). The house was relatively quiet this time around; it was just the two of us in the kitchen and the girls twirling around outside giggling and knocking mangoes from the tree with a long stick. Goretti came in and out of the tukul, sticky with juice and the fibrous orange flesh, offering me hand-selected mangoes. To her amusement, I ate them all.

Prisca with daughters Goretti, 3, and Cynthia, 7
photo credits Halle Butvin

Lucy's daughter Claire was over for the afternoon watching Cynthia and Goretti so that we could cook in peace - again a three-hour affair including rice, chicken stew and macaroni. When I arrived I'd seen Claire around the side of the house plucking feathers from the unlucky bird that lost its life minutes before. I breathed a sigh of relief and set about cutting vegetables and sifting through the local rice to remove small stones.

Prisca and I are the same age, and the more time we spend together, the more she feels a bit like a sister - definitely an older and wiser one! After cooking and bathing, we took a walk down to her husband's family's compound, where we watched a telenovela and a nature show about bears in North America. Her brother-in-law walked me back to the junction to catch a boda back to town, while Prisca and Charles stopped by the dwindling celebrations from a neighbor's wedding.

There's nothing better than a boda ride on the outskirts of Gulu when the sun is setting in golden hues and the air is losing its heat. Especially when you have a belly-full of sticky sweet little Gulu mangoes.

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