This is Alex. He was my driver to and from the office and around Jinja for my time there.
Matt (my host while I was in Jinja) rides a motorcycle to work, and as much as I would have loved to just ride on the back of it, he only has one helmet and I only have one brain and my mom reads this blog.
So Alex was hired to drive me as needed. He took me to the office and back, a 15-minute trip one way. That was 30 minutes daily of time to chat. Alex told me all about his schooling, his family, and mostly about his deep respect for Pastor Henry and how the man changed his life.
Alex does a lot of driving for tourists taking safari-style trips to places like Murchison National Park and Sipi Falls. He likes to make sure everyone gets a little taste of Africa in the form of something local and legit, so he pulled into the market one afternoon and bought me a slice of jack fruit.
Ever seen this stuff? It is huge and does not look edible. Kind of like when you see an artichoke plant and you wonder, “How hungry did some ancient soul have to be to tear deep enough into this thing to figure out that it is food?”
Jack fruit has been making the news in America these days. Well, maybe not the news, but it has hit the scene and I keep hearing people talk about it like it’s some sort of substitute for meat. Vegans have been known to use it to simulate pulled pork. Umm, I need to set the record straight.
This is NOT anything at all like meat, unless you like steak that has the texture of string cheese and tastes like Juicy Fruit gum. I’m mean seriously. Not even close to meat. NOTHING. LIKE. MEAT.
It’s sticky as all get out. You need Vaseline to get it off your hands. But the edible part is pretty tasty. I don’t know if it’s worth the serious effort it took to peel out the fruit, but given that the lady in the market with the machete sliced it for me, I guess it was. Actually, just watching this woman who looked to be 90 years old and weighed about 80 pounds go slinging a knife that big was worth the 200 shillings and ridiculously sticky hands.
And my time hanging out with Alex was worth not getting to ride on the back of the motorcycle.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: One afternoon at the Hoyt’s house a ripe jackfruit fell out of the tree and hit the ground with exactly the sort of loud thud you’d expect from a dense, 50-pound melon-like thing plummeting from about 15 feet high. Melinda never even looked up. She calmly said, “And that’s why we don’t park the car over there.”
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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