National Geographic : 1939 Jan
I KEPT HOUSE IN A JUNGLE rnotograpn courtesy race Line "TODAY-CIRCUS IS IN TOWN!" SIGNS PROCLAIM Boys parade through the streets of Caracas with posters announcing the big event. "Great reduction in prices," the placards promise for both afternoon and evening performances. dark glasses and dash down the sun-baked road with as much fervor as I took to my first circus. Perhaps half a dozen times a year apples are shipped down from the United States, along with celery, nuts, lettuce, and oranges - big, glowing, golden oranges which put the native fruit of that name to shame. Then, indeed, recklessness runs riot. What would be an ordinary Saturday morning marketing at home assumes the propor tions of a jealously guarded gold mine. Incidentally, the transaction also involves plenty of gold. Such delicacies must be eked out for weeks. GIFTS FROM THE JUNGLE So, if at any time you should happen to call on a woman in eastern Venezuela and she offers you an apple, be assured you have made a favorable impression. On the other hand, we have constant gifts from the jungle, which at home are rather rare treats. Heart of palm, for ex ample, grows in the tops of tall, naked trees. The exterior looks like sugar cane. When the outer bark is removed, the tender white stalks make a tempting salad; they provide keen competition for the ever-growing avo cado, which peons gather from the forest for one and a half cents each. Papayas, plentiful as palms, play a proud part in forming the foliage around our house. If eaten at the psychological moment of ripening, these melons add zest to the breakfast hour. Papaya trees must be planted in pairs; without the pollen from the male tree, the female bears no fruit. Mangoes, too, grow profusely throughout the forest; likewise pldtanos (plantains), the great oversized bananas which are eaten daily by the peon class.