The Lady Selling Soursop at Sundaun Market
Mushrooms! Mushrooms would taste so good for supper, I thought as I drove along. I decided to stop at Sundaun (Sundown) Market, a vast place on the side of the road where I have frequently purchased mushrooms.
I carefully pulled off the road and walked into the market. “I am looking for thalinga,” the local language name for mushrooms. “Does anyone have some for sale?” I asked.
“No, they are not here yet,” came one reply.
“Someone brings them from that direction,” another responded, pointing.
“Check down to the end of the market,” someone added.
As I began to walk the length of the market, I noticed a lady arriving with four beautiful soursop fruits. One of my friends had just served me frozen soursop, which was delicious, so I decided to purchase the two biggest soursops from this lady before I proceeded through the market.
I began a friendly conversation and learned that the price for one was four Kina, and the big one was five Kina. I pulled out a ten Kina note and said I wanted both big ones. The woman thanked me and also gave me the two smaller ones without me having a chance to give her more money. “Thank you so much, these will be delicious, and you keep the change!” That was all I could say as the vendor beside her helped me carry three firm and one over-ripe soursop to my truck.
I resumed my search for mushrooms, walking the entire market and talking to many people. I could find no mushrooms, but vendors were still arriving, so I figured I could still get some if I waited.
I spotted a mother and daughter selling sago grubs; some were pre-cooked, and others were alive and wiggling in a metal bowl. I asked if I could take a picture, and the girl willingly agreed while her mother sat proudly to the side. Afterward, I bought two handfuls of Rambutan fruit, one for her and one for me—a payment for her kindness since I had no plans to purchase and eat sago grubs.
Standing under the shade of a woman’s umbrella, I ate my rambutan and checked the market, but still no mushrooms. So I purchased and ate three fried cooking bananas. There were still no mushrooms.
I decided I had already eaten a good start to supper and would go home without mushrooms. I began walking to the truck, greeting my acquaintances as I went along.
As I passed the woman with the soursop, she began talking rapidly. In my mind, I had been worried that I should have figured out how to pay her at least another 4 Kina (just over a dollar) for the additional fruit she gave me. So I answered, “Can I pay you for the rest of the soursop?”
The lady kept talking and pointing. I noticed “photo” was in her sentence.
One of the nearby vendors explained, “You do not understand her correctly. She wants you to take her picture.”
“Oh!” I responded and pulled out my phone, taking a picture of her and the vendor next to her. Then I handed my phone to a vendor so I could get into a picture.
The woman selling soursop assured me she has plenty more on the tree at her house. I just need to come to the market and get it.
I went home from Sundaun Market to a tasty supper of ripe soursop while thinking about how sharing Christ’s love comes in many forms, including taking pictures with a stranger who wants to be my friend.