May 2004- Mango Season in Haiti!

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Mango season is upon us now. There are mangoes everywhere, in the streets, at work, in the markets. You see marchandes pushing entire wheelbarrows full of mangoes to the marche. We have a mango tree in the backyard that has at least a hundred mangoes on it, ripening. We have recipes for mango drinks and mango ice cream and mango marinades. Even to buy them at the market is only a couple of gourdes, as there are so many everywhere.

Along with mango, it is senior-itis season. The juniors and seniors are all taking their AP exams this week and next, and their finals are earlier than the rest of the school’s, in just two weeks. They are ready to begin the next phase of their lives. Tom and I, as senior teachers, were invited to the senior Graduation dinner at the Abdallah’s house last Friday. Our graduating class of 24 were there, some parents, and some invited teachers. The Abdallah’s house was fabulous, bigger in fact, than the Miller’s in Fort Worth. Their pool house alone was bigger than many people’s houses. They are really nice people, and their daughter Isadora and their son Karim are great kids. I have Karim in eighth grade US History and look forward to seeing him next year in ninth.

Also this weekend we had a talent show at Union School. The turnout was spectacular; lots of people from other school and the community showed up. We had some great acts, some poetry, some dance groups, a couple singers, a dj, piano playing. Everyone had a great time, and the prizes were amazing- cash prizes, a plane ticket, dinner certificates, pre-paid cell phones. All the kids had alot of fun.

So now we have three weeks of class and then finals left. We haven’t gotten to really travel much lately, with Saturday school. Just two more of them. We did finally have a Hash last week, at the Petionville Club. It went well although a slightly smaller turnout than usual; not everyone is back in Haiti. Our beloved Hashmaster is gone, so we had to have a substitute. We did get a couple of baptisms, although I can’t remember their baptismal names. Oh wait, there was John: Slammer Hammer (his girlfriend Lauren was dubbed Slammer for her tequila drinking prowess) and Katherine, named Mama Mia as she is about to move with her job to Italy. Fun was definitely had by all.

Everyone talks about the political and economic situtation improving but so far no one has really seen many changes. The kidnappings are continuing; this week a seven year old boy was kidnapped outside his school (one of the other private schools). The electricity is still not there more than a few hours a week. No one is really sure what the new government is working on. There have been rumors and reports of some of the major drug dealers being arrested by the US officials and shipped off to Miami to await trial. But no one is really sure who.

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