Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Love, in mango

Twice a year, my favorite fruit floods Haiti.  Mangos, in all their sweet, citrusy goodness drip from the trees like so many gifts from Heaven.

Seriously.  I love mangos.  Pretty much every variety (and there are several.)  And, I'm not the only one.  The kids of One Family loose their minds a little at the prospect of (literally) hundreds of mangos falling from the sky.  During this season, the beloved mango tree is never alone.  Children wait under her wide branches, laughing and playing, but always listening for the rustle of leaves that indicate a mango letting go of its branch.  They run, dive, jump to be the one to catch that morsel.

 They sneak out of their beds in the middle of the night to make sure that no mango is missed. But the tree, laden with her burden, will drop mangos like manna- enough for everyone, every day.  

For weeks, little brown cheeks are streaked with the sticky orange pulp.  Bellies fill to the point of being slightly ill, but still the mangos will be prized until the last one has tumbled down.

 Last month, we arrived at One Family in peak mango season, and quickly found ourselves overflowing with mangos.  These children, who generally have little to nothing, find themselves rich in this fruit.  What do they do with their new found wealth?  They give. Generously.   Mangos become the currency of friendship and love: shared under the tree in laughter, given to the youngest and oldest in the community, and shyly or proudly handed to special friends.

Mangos say 'I care about you.'  'I want to spend some time with you.'  'I love you.'  

This Giving Tree gives so much more than fruit.

But, the fruit is pretty awesome.