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One of my treasured childhood playgrounds under the big morula trees (Maruleng, Mochudi, Botswana)

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Any one of my childhood friends, some of my incredible friends that I have made along the way, family are not surprised that I have been brave enough to establish Ntuka. I live here in the UK and have been here since 2002. A very long time to be away from one's homeland but the truth is I have never forgotten who I am.
 
A girl from one of the dustiest parts of the world. A hilly area that is surrounded by vast amounts of Morula trees, literally everywhere you look and tonnes and tonnes of sand that covers most of the plains and burns the hell out of your tiny feet when it gets hot. I am simply a nature loving, village girl who is very much attached to the land that she comes from in so many ways and I have a deep, deep respect for the natural world and it's resources.

I grew up playing under these big morula trees that you see pictured above. There is quite a lot of them concentrated around this one area, sadly the image above doesn't capture the whole lot of them and it doesn't also show my family home or rather my grandmothers's home which is literally around the corner from these tress. It would have been lovely to share a little bit more detail with you through the images.

But what I can share in a little more detail is my relationship with the morula trees. So not only were these trees my everyday playground but they were also a very important source of nutrition for us village folk in the summer. Their fruits and nuts were a big part of our summer nourishment.

The whole village including goats, would feast on the morula fruit for as long as it was about until the end and then we would wait for their sun dried kernels that are usually just scattered around. everywhere. I used to gather lots of these using the lower front part of my dresses as a basket. I would gather so many, settle under a morula treee and pound away for hours at the hard shells until they let go of their nutritious nuts. 

As strange as it may sound, my connection and love for the morula trees runs deep hence why you will find it included in all of the Ntuka blends. There are others too that I have not mentioned. Ximenia, baobab, mongongo, kalahari melon etc. which are abundantly available in my country. Ximenia fruit is another one that I grew up eating and equally holds a special place in my heart. 

 

It is my absolute dream to see them appearing in the international market for the benefit of the Batswana people. Particularly those struggling with poverty in some remote parts of the county.There is already some promising developments in regard to the possible production of ximenia oil that I helped initiate.

A project that involves several communities in the eastern part of the country established by http://www.biotradeventures.com in collaboration with a newly established, dedicated local company. This joint venture has already significantly improved the economical situation of these communities.I hope that other similar projects will start to spring up across other parts of the country because there is a desperate need for economic relief and I cannot wait to start formulating with their oils and other future products that will come from this collaboration.