Azungu on the beach

A couple of days ago Rik and I were busy cleaning the house after we have been away for a couple of weeks when Rik suddenly said: Azungu, I see azungu walking!’. I didn’t understand what he was talking about all of a sudden. ‘Huh, azungu? Where?’ ‘Yeah well, just here, on the beach.’

I followed his gaze and spotted some western looking guys. They were carrying big backpacks, wore hiking shoes and both had stick in hand – obviously they were hikers. But where did they come from, and where were they going?

Tanguy and Hugues turned out to be two French guys who wanted to walk from Cape Maclear to Senga Bay. Because they weren’t sure about wildcamping in the national park they decided to start a little further south, but even then a trip of about 110 kms to Senga Bay remained. When they arrived at this beach, they had only walked about one kilometer from their previous camping spot, however they thought the beach looked so nice, they asked if they could stay anyway.

When we showed them the garden, they saw a papaya. After we’ve told them what it was, they revealed that neither of them had ever tried one. Given that we have quite some papaya trees around here – and that they bear fruit all year long – it surely must be possible to give them a taste of one. James thought he had seen some ripe papaya in the highest tree we have on the land. When we spotted them, James took off to get some bamboo stick and started to tie them together to poke the papaya out of the tree, as we’ve done before.

Tanguy thought this was taking too much time, and studied the tree: ‘I think I can climb up this tree.’ There wasn’t much time to stop him, because in no-time he was already halfway up the tree!

He picked two papaya and threw them down, where James was ready to catch them. I was happy James took that role, because if I had to catch them there was a decent chance that I might have dropped them..

Back at the house I cut the papaya open for a simple papaya-banana-mango smoothie. Of course they had to taste a piece before it was to be blended with the rest of the fruit, otherwise they would still not know what papaya tastes like. I have to say that I personally don’t like every papaya, however the ones that are growing here are nice and sweet and the taste reminds me of melon. I think they liked our papaya too, however they got REALLY enthusiastic when they tasted the smoothie.

‘What did you put in it? Just fruit?’ I explained it was only three ingredients: fresh papaya, banana from the freezer (because usually we sudden have a huge bunch which we can’t finish all fresh, and this makes the smoothie nice and cold) and store-bought mango juice (mango season only starts in two months). Their judgement: it was the best smoothie they had here in Africa, and according to their own statements, they already had more than a few here.

The rest of the day Rik and I were, unfortunately, busy with our appointment with the vet, but Hugues and Tanguy said they have enjoyed themselves nonetheless. They have put up the volleybalnet for us (which the pied kingfishers also loved) and took the dug-out canoo for a ‘test drive’. At night we grilled some chambo and had a beer together.

I really enjoyed having visitors of our own age, and their hike along the coast has given me some new ideas and inspiration for our own trip around here.

Tanguy and Hugues, thanks a lot for your company, and perhaps we’ll meet again sometime!

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