Tuesday, June 25, 2013

up to my ears ...

Mango season.

It means you can't go 1 mile without seeing 2 mango stands.

It means you can't go 5 minutes without seeing someone eating one.

It means everywhere you go, you see people with mango on their faces, hands and clothes.

10 minutes ago, I was covered in mangoes.

I still have it all over my shirt, as I just finished making some mango juice.

I have eaten so many mangoes this week, that I'm pretty sure there will come a point that I'll get sick of them, however, that moment hasn't come yet.

Yesterday, I received bags of them from the people in the village.

I was signing up the kids to teach them choir and kept receiving more and more mangoes.

So many, that I would occasionally have to ask the kids to bring them to my house while I finished with the head count of how many kids to teach.

I started off with one of the sweet girls who gives me a gift almost every time I drive by.  She's 12.  She was my assistant.

She felt so proud of herself being my right arm.  I had her writing names and ages on a paper as she took on an authoritative stance, holding my paper and pen like a true pro.

She would hold my hand and ask me if I could go to the neighbouring village to visit her cousin who was just born this week.

As we went along, more children came to follow me through the village.

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I looked like the Pied Piper.

As I traversed the sand, rocks and roots, carefully stepping with my fragile balance, I had a parade of children following me, grabbing for my hand, grabbing for my clothes, gaining more and more little smiles to follow me after every house I visited.

It was interesting to see the dynamic of class in the village.

Some people have a shack made of tin or beach gathered wood, while others had concrete walls.  But everyone has a tin roof.  Some people had a fence so that nobody could see in their private space.

It made me giggle, because our house is considered the poorest of the rich gringos in houses along the beach.

We are the shack with a tin roof compared to the rest of the mansions surrounding us.

Anyway, I got a little nervous when every family signed up every child.

I think I'm in over my head.  I didn't realize there are so many children here.  Well, maybe I did, but you don't ever see them all at the same time.

I intended on only teaching ages 6-12, but as I went, more families were talking about their 3, 4 and 5 year olds.  Then as I got further, the teenagers begged me to do a class for them as well.

So here I am, with 3 classes every Saturday beginning on July 6th, with over 35 children in total.

I'll have to split them up into groups: 3-6, 7-11 and 12-16.

Oh boy.

Then I had families telling me they have children in the neighbouring villages who really have nothing and they begged me to start teaching them too.  There are 4 in total around us here.

I may have to start looking at some way to fund this in order to be able to teach 4 villages, each with 3 groups once a week.

As I went families gave me mangoes because they were grateful I'd be teaching their children.

I had mothers inviting me in for a visit and passing me their babies, children asking if they could come to the Hector-Brown Amusement Park today, and I had hugs along with the traditional Dominican kiss to the right cheek, even though they don't even know me.

Honestly, before signing children up I had a lot of mangoes.  People have dropped them off to me and glowed when they saw how happy I would get at a sack of mangoes here and a bag of mangoes there.

I love mangoes!

When we first moved here, I bought a mango tree in hopes that I may have mangoes this season.  I was so sad to see that it was just too young.

I thought I would have to buy them.

I don't think so.

And here I sit, with mango juice all over my shirt, and a freshly cleaned skin from mangoes that were smeared all over my face and hands.

Mango season.


my success is contagious.  people like it, seek it and respect it

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