Susan C. Anthony

Cacao

December 18, 1987

We stopped at a roadside customs check. A young man jumped up on the back of the truck and asked us the usual questions: where we were from, where we have been and how long we have been in Nigeria. He was fluent in English and introduced himself proudly as a Nigerian from a nearby village.

When asked about his work, he said he was in the business of exporting cacao. Someone asked what a cacao tree looked like and he was incredulous. "You don't know cacao?" He burst into peals of laughter. It must have been comparable to an Australian meeting someone who'd never seen a sheep.

He went and got two fruits, cut them open and told us to suck the large seeds, but not bite into them. They had a sweet citrus flavor, and the seeds had to be discarded after the small amount of juice was gone. He showed us the beans drying in the sun on the village street.

"We dry them for several days," he explained, "then tie them up in big bags. White people like you come and buy them." Chocolate, made from cacao, is always in demand.

Who knows? Perhaps someday his cacao will end up in my Milky Way!

Go on to Yankari Game Park and Wikki Warm Springs
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