November 7, 2008

The year of the Mango incident

(This is part of an ongoing series chronicling memories of my life growing up as a missionary kid in Vanuatu. For links to previous posts you can go here)

Every second year the mango trees flower. And Vanuatu is covered with mangos.

There are mangos every year in summer, but for some reason every second year there are 10 times the amount there are on the other year.
The year we first arrived was a mango year. And because the month that the mangos flowered was unseasonably dry, there were even more mangos than usual. (Wet weather when the mangos flower knocks most of the flowers off so there are fewer mangos).

There were mangos everywhere! Mangos in the trees, mangos rotting on the ground and baskets of mangos always appearing at our back door.

I had never tasted a mango before this; they are too expensive in Australia to be ‘wasted’ on little kidsJ. But that year I discovered just how good they were. Sweet and juicy, I loved to eat them. Dad would cut the mangos on either side of the seed, and score it so we could bite off cubes of sweet yellow flesh. Then I would suck the seed with juice running down my arms. One day I ate about 10.

That night I got really sick. I was sick for about a week and spent a few days in the local hospital. I had some kind of bug that had nothing to do with the mangos, but it has taken until now (almost 16 years later) before I could eat a mango again.

(Just a side note, Mango trees make great trees for climbing and building tree houses in)

(Photo courtesy of robert and fabienne)

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