Hey Bananas on a Leaf!Today is Joel’s birthday and he’s been singing “You say it’s [my] birthday!” all morning so far. In fact, last night, he started talking about his birthday like a kid the night before Christmas. I’m not sure what all this excitement is, because he’s usually pretty low key, but I’m humoring him and joining in with his festive spirit.

You know from our previous post about my birthday that we had a nice lobster lunch. Well, Joel decided he didn’t want a lobster lunch for his birthday and since he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, I got him a little present. Keep in mind that there are only a handful of SCUBA shops with t-shirts and one gift shop on the island. The gift shop has many nice things, although they are not up his alley.

You also know that I’ve been doing a lot of hiking. What you might not know is that during these hike, I get a lot of great ideas. Or at least they sound great while I’m hiking – some of them lose steam by the time I get home and tell Joel about them! Anyway, it’s my time to dream and be creative, while enjoying the sights of Saba.

Hiking For Gifts?
Yesterday, as I was hiking, I came across what I think will be a great gift for Joel. I was walking along the Troy Hill trail when I saw some bananas, peels open, along the ground. Like all good Sabans in search of free fruit, I started to look around to find the source of the fallen bananas. There is was, up above my head – a banana tree – full of ripe bananas! This is a big score, because typically, all of the people in the know get to the bananas before island newbies like us.

Monkey See, Monkey Do
The trick was, how to get the bananas? Banana trees don’t have branches like the bittersweet orange trees. Luckily, banana trees often have one or two long, hanging ropey things with the banana “pod” at the end. The hanging branch is covered with what looks like the skin of a pineapple – and it’s pretty strong. I grabbed that hanging branch and reached up for the ripe bananas – quite a stretch for someone of my height! So there I was, hanging on this branch with one hand and reaching up with another. If a tourist had come along with a camera, I’d surely be photographed as an exotic species of monkey invading Saba. Saba does not have monkeys, by the way, which means we humans have a better chance at getting some bananas.

Hey a Tree with Bananas in it!
I got about 6 nice, ripe bananas – victory – except, I had no bag in my small hydration pack to carry these somewhat messy treats. Looking around, I saw the banana tree leaves – quite large and canoe shaped. I used the leaf to wrap up the bananas and was pretty satisfied that Joel would be getting a birthday treat – and wrapped up to boot! If you ever try this yourself (I know, you’re asking yourself, why would I WANT to try that???), I’d recommend an elephant ear leaf, rather than the banana leaf. Elephant ear plants are all over the island and the leaves are huge and sturdy. The banana tree leaves are more delicate, so I did have a bit of banana mush to clean from my pack.

I’m Glad It’s Your Birthday – Happy Birthday to You!
Well, he says it’s his birthday today – so he’ll be getting 6 ripe bananas, fresh from the trees of our island home. Plus, he gets another gorgeous, sunny day in the middle of winter – what more could anyone ask for? Happy Birthday Joel!

Sing Along: You Say It’s Your Birthday