Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mango season has arrived!

Yes, mango season is here.  I love mangos.  We have two giant mango trees in the back of the hogar, but they don’t have mangos.  Why?  Because the girls also love mangos.  They get so excited for mango season, that they eat ALL of them when they are green (and then have stomachaches).  Fortunately, there are also mango trees at the convent and at another nearby volunteer site.  So we have a stash.  On Thursdays, the volunteers eat at the convent with the sisters.  This is easily our best meal of the week and I always get really excited.  Especially for the bowls fruit that we eat after the meal.  We’ve had mangos at this meal for the past 6 or 7 weeks.  Here’s my challenge for you:  go eat a mango, it’s really hard.  The Common mangos here are even stringier and juicier than those that you encounter in the US After a month of laughing at me eating these with juice to my elbows, the sisters began teaching me to eat politely.  I’m getting pretty good at it.  There are actually many different crosses of mangos and other fruits that ripen at different intervals of mango season.  Apple mangos are wonderful and easier to eat.  There are also peach mangos, banana mangos (heaven I hear) and others that I haven’t encountered yet.

Because convent lunch is on Thursday, Melia, Tom, Laura and I are going to be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for the sisters this week.  Turkey and all.  If we can find a turkey, that is.  When I asked if I could order a turkey at the supermarket, I was told that it was much too early for turkeys.  Apparently you can only buy turkeys around Christmas here.  I did see a live one while walking the other day though.

Last weekend, I visited some other volunteers in Yapacani, which is to the east of Montero.  I saw a body of water and hills for the first time since I arrived three months ago.  While visiting Amboro National Park, we played on a rope swing, and then hiked three hours into the rainforest to see a waterfall, which I drank from.  Maybe not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but it tasted wonderful.  While we didn't see any large jungle animals, there were plenty of frogs, tarantulas, ants and a snake to keep me occupied.  It was a good day.

Saray Masa Rivera
Life at the Hogar has been going, going, going.  We had baptisms in October, so I now have another goddaughter.  Her name is Saray, she is almost four, and is exactly as ornery as she looks.  When I tell her not to do something, she gives me a look, then usually does exactly that as quickly as she possibly can.  We threw a Halloween party where we bobbed for mangos (which I learned don’t float).  On my birthday, I watched the Princess and the Frog with the girls.  They gave me a frog and told me I had to kiss him.  So I did, and they screamed.  Last week, we had seven girls graduate from kindergarten, and this week we’ll have three who will graduate from high school.  We will hopefully be finishing up our Christmas shopping soon!

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