We arrived at the hill where scattered trees hold green and yellow guavas. You could see the trees shaking as we bent their boughs to lean in and grab ahold of the ripe fruit. Little by little the basket on my back filled almost to the top. Satisfied, we headed back to the horses. I tilted my body a bit to lift up to the saddle, finding a showering of guavas from my basket hitting me on the head and then rolling on the ground. Stopped to pick those up, then tried again to mount the horse a smarter way. Finally we were off. This time the people along the road didn't make fun, they all said, "You have gotten oranges!" (they couldn't tell what fruit they were, only that they were piled high in that basket, and they did look a bit like the yellow oranges they have here). I was proud of our load. It must have been 40 or 50 pounds on my back, with the little straps of my basket digging in to the crevice they had made in my shoulders. But I was thankful to not be walking while carrying the burden, at least the horse was doing most of the work.
Or I thought he was doing most of the work. But then after I got home I realized that a good portion of it was yet to come. I brought out my biggest pots and boiled the water, sliced the fruit, and waited. Then to the sieve, squashing the pulp through to keep the seeds out. Over and over again. So many guavas, so many twists of the wrist. On and on, until finally it was done. It had been dark for hours, and now, late in the night, it was time to clean up. A little while longer and I got to fall asleep, satisfied somehow by harvesting and preparing. And in the morning, how lovely to wake up and get a big glass of fresh guava juice! Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. It was so worth all that effort.
Only a few of the many guavas beside my market basket
Cook em up, squash em up.