We didn’t get our bananas on our last supply flight. The chopper came, the chopper left, but alas, there were no bananas amongst our bleach, propane bottles, and crackers. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it nearly brought my poor wife to tears.
And, I’ll clarify here; my wife is not someone who is normally tearful over meaningless trivialities. For instance, she hardly blinked when I completely forgot Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago (though that’s probably, in part, due to the fact that I’ve set the bar incredibly low in the romance department…), but a few bunches of bananas get forgotten, and her eyes might get a little misty.*
You see, we live a little off the beaten path. Actually, ironically enough, we live directly ON a beaten path; we just live really far away from any roads. We live even farther from any stores or markets. Our home is in a small village in the middle of a swampy jungle, and, unlike what is often portrayed in books and on television, the jungle is NOT a tropical paradise filled with a vast array of succulent fruits. At least, OUR jungle isn’t. Our jungle is full of thorny trees that are being attacked by thorny vines that are being attacked by vicious (and sometimes thorny) insects. Fruit doesn’t seem to ever enter into the equation.
All that to say, that we rarely have opportunities to eat fresh foods, because they are heavy to ship in on the helicopter (we pay by the KG), and they don’t last long once we get them. This reality tends to weigh heavily on the mind of Rochelle, who values things like “vitamins” & “nutrition” in our children’s diets.
Our boys were literally dancing around the living room that morning in happy expectation of having fruit in the house again. Our four year-old even tried out a new word to express his joy: “I will be DELIGHTED to eat bananas!” So Rochelle ended up feeling a little down after dashing all their little hopes and dreams and telling them that it would probably be a few more weeks before we got any fruit.
I tried to comfort her by changing the subject and telling her that I had changed out our empty gas bottle with the new one that had come on the chopper, and she wouldn’t have to take cold showers anymore, but that didn’t really seem to improve her mood at the time.
And, of course, if you were to sit us down and have us give it some thought, we would recognize that our lives really aren’t THAT difficult, and we don’t really have any right to be complaining about our lot. We WANT to be where we are. We WANT to do what we’re doing. It’s just that sometimes, caught up in the moment, when we start thinking about how things used to be for us back in the States, we get a little bit wistful, and, sometimes, we feel like our life is kind of hard.
Sometimes we just want a banana, you know?
*Rochelle, who is a tad sensitive about people knowing that she sometimes almost cries, has asked me to mention that, about this same time, our infant had also just bitten her rather hard while nursing and then peed on her, and so it wasn’t JUST the bananas that had her feeling a little emotional.