Peace Corps Education Volunteer Jennifer Jiggetts is currently serving in Lesotho, southern Africa and shared this photo of the Peace Corps-inspired manicure she did for Peace Corps Week early this month. We love it!
In September 2006, I left my home of Tucson, Arizona for what would be the most important two years of my life. After 3 days in Philadelphia, I was on a plane to Banjul, The Gambia, a country I had never heard of 10 weeks ago.
One of my New Year’s resolutions and goals of year numero dos in Peace Corps is to try more Ecuadorian fruit. It’s not as if I don’t eat a bastante amount of fruit here, I really do. I just usually stick to the basics like mango, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit and oranges. I’ve tried other fruits here of course but I don’t usually buy them on my own… but that’s all about to change! I have a brand-spanking new blender with a juicer too! It would be a complete waste not to use it and to not aprovechar my time down here with trying delicious tropical fruits. So, get ready for installment one in your Ecuadorian fruit education!
Up first is taxo. I’m not sure what taxo is called in English or if there even is an English translation. It’s a strange yellow fruit that’s about 3 inches long and shaped like some large gorilla finger or a fat stumpy cigar. When you cut it open, the insides look like a pomegranate or maracuyá with the orange, gelatinous fruit surrounding many small black seeds. Taxo is basically only used in juices but as the lady at the fruit stand tells me, you can also cut it open and chupar (suck) the fruit out. According to my awesome Peace Corps cookbook, it’s also used as a topping for ice cream but since I had no ice cream around the house, I settled for making juice.
I cut them open, scooped out the insides and put it my blender with a bit of water. After blending for a bit, you simply strain out the seeds and bam, you have jugo de taxo! I added some sugar to the juice primarily because I’ve integrated here and you can’t drink anything without copious amounts of sugar added and secondly because taxo does have a slightly sour taste that needs some sweetness added. Overall, not my favorite Ecua-fruit and it probably wouldn’t be my first juice choice but taxo definitely has an interesting flavor and unlike any fruits I would typically eat in the States.
"On World AIDS day the members of the local HIV group MASUPHA (Makete Supplies People Living with HIV/AIDS) marched in the villages of Tanzania. The group members and I were wearing Peace Corps 50th anniversary Khangas made by Peace Corps Tanzania. The group members sang powerful songs while marching through the villages. Later, speeches were given by MASUPHA group leaders, health care workers, various village government officials, and myself, a Tanzanian environment Peace Corps volunteer. The event helped raise awareness of the HIV problem, encourage testing, educate villagers, and reduce stigma for those living with HIV/AIDS."
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