Friday 2 March 2012
Friday was a restful day. In the morning we went out to buy palm wine, a local drink which is actually the sap of the palm tree. It's harvested by the palm wine tapper who shins up the tree armed only with a cane 'hoop' which goes round his waist. There he makes an incision in the tree, inserts a funnel made from palm leaves, and ties on a plastic bottle. The next day he goes back to harvest the palm wine.
Going to buy palm wine is not like popping down to Tesco. Naturally it's important to try the different brews (only alcoholic when they have been left to ferment!), and then we need to sit and talk for an hour or so whilst drinking palm wine together. The tappers also pass the time by making the funnels – they challenged me to have try, and my dismal failure to produce a workable funnel caused much amusement! It's not as easy at it looks!
I helped Saffie with the lunch (more details another time about how cooking is done), and spent the afternoon in a hammock with my Kindle – something I had promised myself for a long time.
After dinner everyone sat outside and huddled round a small portable DVD to watch an episode of '24' on a minute screen. Since I know very little about '24', I had some difficulty following the plot, not helped by the Chinese subtitles!