Monday, August 22, 2011

Death by Mango

Our mango tree has always been a favorite of our volunteers and kids.  It's almost like a place of refugee.  Hundred's of birthdays have been celebrated underneath it's branches, birthday's of kids who we weren't sure would even make it.  Many kids have been tenderly nursed back to health under that tree in the loving hands of our volunteers and Nannies.  There's been hundreds of going away parties under it for kids who's adoptions are complete.  Our kids and volunteers alike have spent thousands of hours doing one on one time there.  We've celebrated holidays under it and eaten thousands of meals in the shade it provides.  I can only imagine how many thousands millions of pictures have been taken under our mango tree.

Needless to say it's a favorite location of hundreds of people all around the world.  I often here returning volunteers rave to the new-bee's how amazing our mango tree is.  People talk about it for years.  It's a HUGE part of COTP and is smack dap in the middle of our compound.

However, this summer our mango tree, our place of refugee, had a different feel to it.  It went from a place of fun, where friendships were made and children were taken care of, to a war zone!

This summer our tree was full of thousands of mangos that could and would drop at any given moment.  At the beginning of spring they were pretty tiny and many of us got hit in the head and we'd all laugh and joke about what we would do when they were bigger.

Then they kept growing, and growing, and soon they were full sized mangos that still continued to drop constantly all day long.

It got so bad that we eventually had to make the mango tree off limits and tell everyone that the children were not allowed underneath it.  For the most part people understood why, but there were a few people I had to remind several times a day of the new rule!  I don't blame them though, the mango tree is awesome!

One of our nannies kids came in after being hit in the head by a fallen mango and was in a ton of pain.  He was 16, I can't imagine what it would do to an infant or toddler.  Some nannies even suggested we walk in a big circle around the mango tree as to not go underneath it at all when carrying a child.

As a mango fell you would have about 1.5 seconds of warning to throw your hands over your head to protect yourself as it hit other branches on its way torpedoing down to earth.  Sometimes 3 or 4 would fall at the exact same time and they'd almost surround you.  Carla was hit in the foot by one that fell.  I had several fall a few inches away from me.  Toby, our dog was  brave stupid enough to lay under it and got hit in the tail by one.  Luckily besides for those instances no one else was hit or hurt!

The toddlers did love it though because they were able to eat mangos every day, some times multiple times a day (that explains the never ending diarrhea)!!  They were like little savages, they would just rip the skin off with their teeth and devour the whole thing in minutes.  They would have juice dripping down their face and shirts, but they didn't care and would go grab another one and eat it as well!

Each of our nannies would take a whole bag full of them home everyday, and we'd still have more.  You couldn't even tell that they took any because the ground was so covered.  I even saw one nanny gather up a giant 50 # rice bag full of mangos, which I assumed she was taking home to sell.  The bag was so heavy that two of them had to drag it to the gate.  It was quite a site.

Apparently it wasn't just our mango tree that had a good season because multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day, I would have nannies bring me a giant bag of mangos from their local tree at home!  I appreciated it, but there was no way that my two boys and I could go through 3+ large sacks of mangos in a week.

Thankfully though mango season is all over and COTP has returned to normal.  Our volunteers are much happier now because they can sit under the mango tree and love on the most adorable kids in the world.  Our kids are happy because they can have one on one time and birthdays under there again.  And we are happy because they are happy and theres no nannies lecturing us about the kids being under the tree!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I do LOVE mangos. My father had several trees in his yard in Boca Grande, FL that were prolific in the summer. The trees were all taken out by Hurricane Charley in 2004. :( Maybe I'll take a mango-mission trip to Haiti!