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Miss Adassa and the 'giant' melon

Published:Tuesday | May 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Miss Adassa shows off her water tank. - Photos by Robert Lalah
Miss Adassa proudly shows off her melon. - Photos by Robert Lalah
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I was standing at an intersection in a place called Reeves Wood in Manchester, looking at some tyres in the middle of the road. I was contemplating my next move. The round-about of sorts offered three directions to choose from.

A man carrying a large bag full of oranges walked up from behind me. He stopped and glanced in the direction I was looking.

"Ah wah?" he asked. I told him that nothing was wrong. I was just considering where to go next. "Den is where you looking for?" he asked.

I told him that I really was just getting to know Reeves Wood, so it really didn't matter where I went.

Silence.

The man adjusted the bag of oranges on his head. "Well, yuh teck care," he said, and lumbered off.

I opted to keep left at the round-about and started climbing a hill. There was red dirt everywhere and the houses all seemed old, but very well kept. I passed two goats tied to a tree. They were grazing lazily in the shade.

As I walked by a house with a blue roof, I heard a merry call.

"Hellio!" I looked at the house just as a woman ran outside with a cheery smile. She was slender with three strategically positioned curlers in her silver hair.

"Welcome, my son, welcome," she said. I introduced myself to her and found out that she is known to everyone in the community as Miss Adassa. Now Miss Adassa's home is still under construction. Her garden though, is in full bloom.

"I see you come to spend some time with us here in Reeves Wood," she said. I told her I had indeed, and that I was finding the place to be rather quiet and pleasant, the pesky red dirt notwithstanding.



"Oh, you never mind that," she said, her words expertly pronounced. "That red dirt is a gift and it is very fruitful," she said.

"As a matter of fact," she said. Miss Adassa stopped mid-sentence and ran back inside. In a few seconds, she returned carrying a large melon. She was chuckling merrily.

Miss Adassa is very proud of the melon. She grew it herself in her yard. At 73 years old, she fancies herself quite the farmer and insists that the size of the melon is nothing less than a sign from God.

"It's the fastest melon I ever see grow," she said. "It just keep growing and growing like lightning. When I see it, I say that this must be some great power, and it is no other power but the power of God!" She was really getting into it now.

Miss Adassa doesn't enjoy the convenience of piped water. All the water she uses, including what's used to care for her crops, is caught in a tank at the back of the house and in drums set near the roof to collect rainwater. When I mentioned to her that it was a pity she had to do all that, she looked at me quizzically. "No, my son," she said. "I am alright. It rains here all the time. I have all I need right here," she smiled. Miss Adassa told me she lives alone and that she stays healthy by tending to her crops. She also grows beans. "I am happy. I need nothing more than what I have. I am going to call my church family, pray over the melon and then I'm going to distribute slices to all my neighbours," Miss Adassa said. She smiled, looking content.

"We in Reeves Wood live like one family, you know. If this miracle happened to someone else, they would do the same thing. I'm just so glad that this happened. Boy, I'm just so glad," she said.

Where should Robert go next? Let him know at robert.lalah@gleanerjm.com