Monday, March 17, 2014

Fruits de la Route or Mission Fruits

Sometimes I go on a field trip here. We call this 'a mission', which makes me a missionary. It is always fascinating to visit the country side here. What a world of difference with the capital city, let alone with Europe.

Unwritten rule
When on a mission we receive a per diem to pay for hotel and meals. I've done quite a few missions, for different organizations, but there always seems to be the same unwritten rule among the missionaries: the perdiem is divided in three: one third to pay for the expenses, one third for the pocket, and one third for the Voandalana, or Fruits of the Road.

So we are supposed to bring home road fruits.. And we do! Oranges, pine apples, bananas, baskets full.   More than anyone can eat, so I give it to the staff. But a mission fruit does not have to be a fruit. Anything that is sold on the road: a duck in a basket, a fluffy white rabbit held by its ears, a fat dangling shrimp, a poof filled with straw, a brightly colored statue of the virgin Mary,  a tropical plant in an oil can, some stinky cheese in a stinky plastic bag, honey in an empty dish liquid bottle, name it :-)

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