The Saturday before last the surfers of the Unstressed Surf School were in a rush to rinse their wet-suits and head up off the beach. This was unusual. Following them up the path I found the group gathering under the guava tree.
Guava, Γκουάβα, Гуава, Guave, Goyave, Gujawa, Goiaba, “جوافة” wafa~gawafa, guaba (グアバ), koiyaa (கொய்யா), kuava – an international fruit salad of terms for the common old Guava Tree.
An alien species introduced into South Africa as a crop plant in the late 1800’s, the guava now runs wild, and the local children run wildly after it as the fruit comes into season. By law a permit is required to have these trees around but they appear everywhere. Where would one begin?
Alien plants cause huge damage to the local environment and it is understandable that environmentalists would like them removed, but there are two sides to the tale:
- Guava’s provide food for the displaced vervet monkeys that live in the area and for a while they are less inclined to invade residential kitchens – this is very helpful with the development of cross-species tolerance levels. An ongoing area of concern!
- With a Vitamin C count of 184mg/100g – three times the amount found in an orange – this bright fruit provides the children of Africa with a huge annual vitamin boost: helpful for healing wounds received from falling out of trees.
Get by with a little help…
Five in a tree…spot them all.
Chintsa Beach on a Saturday morning in March 2012