Monday, September 26, 2005
It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Ecuador in September…2002 or 2001 (I know I was here 2001…we all remember that, don’t we?) I believe. The wet season is creeping in…the first signs are the mango buds. This past Saturday, I stuffed myself with green mangoes (sprinkled with salt) for the first time in forever…my favourite treat…fresh off the tree. I believe mangoes are good to eat at all stages of their development, from marble to monster, but the secret of the tropics is that they are better when they are green. so what if you can’t make juice out of them… When I was 9 we had a mango tree…I climbed it so much I can still remember the shape of the branches, better than I can remember what my room was like in that house. We moved when I was 10, and didn’t have a front yard, but the park was full of mango trees. And my new high school (which starts in grade 7 in Ecuador) was also spacious and populated by the trees. The staff were sticklers as far as climbing to get the fruit, but I remember staying after school hours many times, throwing rocks up into the loaded branches to taste the dislodged spoils. My backpack full of those green beauties…green mangos…mmmmmmm. The best. I could eat them until my tingling teeth fall out. (eventually, the salt and sour acid make you teeth feel as if they have been stuck in a freezer for three hours and are biting into dry ice) As I was throwing fist sized rocks up at mangos this weekend, I revisited my childhood. The rainy season is upon us. The mangoes come first. Then, las ciruelas…in december, come the thunderstorms (glorious) and the swarms of crickets (very uncomfortable)…the mosquitoes…the heat is already increasing, slowly so that before we know it we can’t breathe from the humidity…ahh. It’s my favourite season (it’s easier to pick when there are only two to choose from). More stuff going on to keep things interesting, and I always associate it with the school holidays. And FLOODING! Flooding is fun.