I realized as I peeled my banana before starting to type that I will never look at this fruit in the same way after my trip to Uganda. It to me was that yellow thing that goes good with peanut butter and honey, or what funny cartoon characters trip on the peel of and fall into neatly stacked cans of beans in the center aisle. I now have a fruit that is my portal to remembering the heat and dirt of Uganda; being offered fruit from outside the windows of our bus as we travelled by entrepreneurial vendors in competition for our purchase of bananas, peanuts, water, plantains; bicycles loaded to the maximum with jerry cans of water, boxes, bags of rice and bunches of bunches of bananas; picking bananas from the market for breakfast, and sitting on the beach spitting out invading ants as I delight in its unique taste while watching hornbills fly overhead and herons wading in the shallows on lake victoria; thinking I am eating potatoes when I am really eating cooked bananas; staring longingly at the banana trees stacked with bananas and offering cool shade in the yards of locals as we (John, Jesse and I) pant and wine in the mid-day heat longing for shade and water engulfed in the smells of sewage and burning trash, kicking up dust as we drag our feet.
In teacher terms I have a new schema for what a banana is. I have new experiences to connect with my prior knowledge of what a banana is. Peeling this banana, I realize this is what life is all about, finding new meaning to what we thought we knew everything about. I am finding that life to me is about finding more full understanding to words we hear over and over, faith, hope, love, family, friendship, grace, commitment, endurance, frustration, joy, confusion, fear, courage, overwhelm, community. The more we live and experience the more full the meanings become to us and the better we can share this with others.