The visitors gamely smell noni fruit
On 9 August, we played host to a group 16 people who are members of the Japan-Seychelles Association in the Kyoto City region. Two university professors accompanied thirteen primary school teachers most and one junior high school girl student to a visit of our sites – the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman and Heritage Garden. Martin Varley, our community coordinator conducted the group around the sites and explained their importance and the functions they fulfill.
The group enjoyed going through the garden and learning about the various traditional plants. Martin even coaxed some of the visitors into smelling Noni fruit, which has a rather pungent smell. He made up for it by crashing the leaves of some of the herbs in the garden for the visitors to take in their lovely aromas.
“Our purpose of visiting Seychelles is to learn about the environment and conservation education of Seychelles and know how it is performed, and we got many hints for the Japanese side to improve our own here,” said Prof. Takesato Watanabe
“Our members found that your environment education has been done among all the people of the country and schools. Organization like yours are well organized and effectively working together with your government and international networks,” he said.
Other features of the Sanctuary that the visitors found interesting were the boardwalk and bird hide made entirely of recycled plastic.
If you have ever heard about the benefits of Noni juice, and you would like to try it for yourself, go ahead and drink some. Just don’t smell the fruit.
That’s what I did. Lucina had brought in some fruits to make juice, and out of curiosity I picked one and took a whiff. Well I can tell you the smell is horrid. Like “a combination of stinking socks and the worst French cheese” was Cousin Wardens’ colorful description. The Noni plant grows well on Cousin.
But those who drink Noni juice seem to be able to get past the smell of the fruit. Noni juice itself is pretty tasteless and doesn’t smell bad. I know this because with some encouragement from Lucina, I did manage to gulp down half a glass. Luckily, the Wrights Gardenia had flowered. So while taking pictures, I inhaled its sweet perfume and was rid of the old socks smell.
Wrights gardenia scent saves the day…
On a serious note, the propagating of the Noni and the Wrights Gardenia at our centre is part of Nature Seychelles efforts to promote diversity and encourage traditional use of plants. The Noni plant grows wild in many parts of Seychelles and is used in traditional medicine. Nature Seychelles has even gone on Radio to urge Seychellois to start drinking Noni juice. They had quite some success after they said that it makes one young and beautiful (but what if one was old and ugly to begin with, asked a caller?)…
Lucina reaches for a noni fruit, Terence is interviewed…
Wrights Gardenia is a special and rare plant. Its endemic to Seychelles where it only grows naturally on Aride Island. Terence planted the one outside some six years ago.
What about you? Have you heard of Noni. Do you think its stink makes up for its benefits?
Related topic: Nirmal Shah’s “the World has become generic”.