Some time ago, a friend of ours from here in Australia, a young guy named Sunshine, decided to give fruitarianism a shot. I'm talking of course, of true fruitarianism, a lifestyle that consists of a purely fruit diet.. no nuts, seeds, greens or roots, and we wished him success with his experiment. - His lifestyle choices were fundamentally steered by ethics, and he felt that the time was right, as was the place and decision he'd chosen to follow, so off he trundled out into the world.
He attended the Fruktifest fruitarian gathering that was held in France in 2010. From reports I've heard, it wasn't entirely what I'd expected it to be, but several like-minded people attended, and together a few of them formed the idea of a fruitarian community. Enthused through their meeting and eager to get something started, I think 7 of them journeyed off together to southern Spain where they lived and shared their lives and fruits together for a while.. I believe they were checking out the possibility of purchasing land there, and although I'm not altogether sure of their circumstances and location there, I like to picture them living naked under some fruit trees, swimming in natural water, and enjoying life.
I'm also guessing, (as the truth is I am filling in the gaps with my guesswork), that they were unable to find anything affordable and suitable enough, some likely became restless or, saw this not entirely as they had planned, and decided to move off doing their own things).. What I believe is correct, is that 3 of the small tribe, up and left Europe altogether, together, in the altogether (OK.. OK.. I just made that last bit up about them being in the altogether!).. And ended up in Africa.. - Kenya to be more precise.
Sunshine, Tanya and Pom. (Pom & Tanya both originate from Italy)
Their discoveries, after having already lived there for several months, is that land is abundant, with rich soil, and most assuredly affordable. Land consisting of acres being available for as little as a couple of hundred euros per acre! (compare that to here, where a simple 1 acre prime block of land, with no structure on it, will cost no less than $100,000 (Australian!))..
Anyhow, it seems that the 3 of them, although remaining in close contact, are no longer travelling as a clan, but Sunshine and Tanya are somewhere close to the coast, where there is more of an abundance of available fruit to be had, while Pom has moved inland.. Initially in search of land, but now I gather preparing and planting out on a spot that he is living on, with melons, and other quick growing fruits, in preparation for the others to join him.
Now for the amazing news.. Being in close contact with the native inhabitants, (they built a mud hut dwelling for him to live in!) Pom's lifestyle has rubbed off on them. They have seen him eating just fruit, and questioned his choices. Pom has explained enthusiastically, and the local Kenyans have simply embraced the idea.. He now has I think 17 friends that are proud to call themselves fruitarian, and keen to get more fruit trees planted. They seem to simply love the idea that they can live on just fruit, as it fits in perfectly with their already established religion and belief system.. One local, recently converted guy, Biti is so excited about the idea, he claims that all of his community may turn fruitarian once they hear of it, and that would be about a 1000 people! (apparently they are against schools, establishments, industries, money and consider such things as unavoidable evils.. They don't believe in medicines, like to sing and pray when they plant, and instead of attending any church or such, gather under a tree in nature to praise the Divine. I've heard they also tend to dryfast every couple of weeks for 2 to 4 days!).
eating a banana
This is really quite incredible news, as I doubt I myself would have thought of Kenya as being an ideal place to establish a fruitarian community. My misgivings would likely center more around the potential political instability of that part of the world. I have spent a little time in the country though, and do see it's land and people have potential. - back in the beginning of the 80's, my brother was teaching at a school in a little village called Yala in Kenya, and myself, Helena, my sister, and mum & dad all went out to visit him for a few weeks. The experience had quite an impression on me, especially the week long safari seeing all the animals so close.
Apparently due to underlying corruption throughout the officialdom, it is very easy to get ones visa renewed without actually having to leave the country.. (all it takes is a little under the desk bribery, and papers get stamped, no questions asked).
I'm following the project keenly through the website some kind soul has knocked together for Pom: fruitariancommunity.tk. And if anyone wishes to help him out in any fashion, through donation of tropical fruit seed or with desire to join them in Kenya and help advance their efforts, all help would be appreciated, and you can contact him via: wearefruitarian at gmail dot com.
On the confusing side for me though, despite Pom's apparent eagerness to make things happen there, I spoke briefly with Sunshine on the phone several weeks ago. He seemed very uncertain of whether he truly desired to stay in Kenya, and was asking many questions about land availability and affordability back in this corner of the world, and talking also of the possibility of south America. He gave me the impression of being most undecided.
I have no real idea either, of what Tanya's thoughts are on the whole issue.
Several months ago I sent Sunshine an interview and he's still working on that but as he's avoiding computers, progress is slow.. I intend to interview Pom and Tanya too but so far haven't gotten around to organise those [Update: Pom's interview is now online here].. I get the impression with Pom, that he is one of the few people that really seems to get what fruitarianism is about, and there's a part of me that almost wishes I was younger again, and could get out there and join him on his (ad)venture.. But, no I'm feeling settled where we are, and no genuine desires to be anywhere other than here.. sure, would love for the universe to hurry up and miraculously manifest the place we are waiting impatiently for, but I don't see that place as being too far from here..
Anyhow.. Anyone interested in finding out more, I suggest you visit the website and blog (that can be linked to from the website).. I for one am curious to see how this project unfolds and evolves.