Unreliable Utilities, Basket Making and New Fruit

plastic bag woven basketWe have experienced the joys of living in a developing country this week. For an unknown reason, the water was turned off for 24 hours on Monday. I'm not sure how widespread the outage was, maybe just our street or this town. The next couple of days the water was on but just a trickle. Just enough to occasionally flush the toilet and do dishes. Interspersed during this time was frequent power outages and internet outages. We hear different stories as to why the utilities aren't reliable. Some people say the local municipality is forced to conserve their resources and occasionally cut the power and water. Others say too much development has happened and the infrastructure and resources can't handle the demand.

All of this down time gave me the opportunity to finish my second plastic bag basket. The shape was unintentional, but in the process I learned how to do a stitch that decreases the size of the basket. The vase now sits on our outside dining table with a stick of bamboo and a tropical flower cut from nearby.

plastic bag woven basketGuanabanaTomorrow we leave for a five day trip to San Isidro de General where we will look at properties for sale. I will have a lot to blog about when I return so today I want to take this opportunity to post a few pictures of interesting tropical fruit. First is a strange green fruit called Guanabana. It grows on trees similar to Papaya. I have found that most delicious fruits require a lot of effort to prepare, this is one. Inside is an edible white pulp covered around poisonous seeds. The pulp needs to be scooped out and seeds squished out before enjoying. It has a acidic-sweet taste that I like. The fruit is so large (about 20 cm long) that the two of us can't eat the entire thing before it spoils. I found the already processed pulp in bottles at the grocery store which makes it easy to add to our daily smoothies.

cacao podNext fruit is Cacao. Everyone is familiar with chocolate. The ripe yellow pod houses the seeds used to make chocolate. Inside the fruit is a delicious white edible flesh around the seeds. The pod was incredibly inexpensive, I think the price was about US 40 cents. The price was right because there really wasn't much of the edible pulp. Both the Guanabana and Cacao grow in the humid tropical rain forests of Costa Rica.

cacao pod