Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Oh, Mango!

Last summer with Aria and our wonderful friend (and mangoes).
Right after I was basking in the bliss of life here, I indulged in a mango that had been just-picked by one of our dearest friends, Ahmed*. His family has an orchard on a nearby island and the mangoes were ripe for the pickin’. 

Amazing mangoes
Last summer, Ahmed brought these same mangoes to us so John and I promptly indulged ourselves with multiple helpings. That is until the next day when I swelled up and couldn’t see out of my left eye. After some research, I discovered that mangoes have the same oil on their skin as poison ivy. BEFORE I knew that, I had cut the mangoes, wiped my brow from sweat, handled the mangoes some more and KAPOW! That was 10 days of Rocky Balboa-esque appearance that I didn’t care to repeat. 
Mangoes for sale everywhere.

This time, John handled the mangoes (no affect on him…not sure why) and I ate them. However, one day he was busy, I was hungry so I approached the mango extraction like a neurosurgeon. I had knives, towels, cutting boards…everything necessary to keep all mango oil away from me. I scrubbed my face and hands afterward and then ate the mango. 24 hours later…no effect. Sweeeeeeet!
The next day I did the same. It was on the third day that I realized I had been delusional. I could not beat the mangoes, but rather it looked as though the mangoes had beaten me. I was completely swollen shut, red and itching. So attractive.

I looked at John and all he could say was, “You poor thing.” That was his mantra as he tried to find any form of relief for me over the last 5 days. 

This was early in the reaction,
but I'm too vain to post more.
I have to accept that mangoes are not my friend. At least this variety. Sadness. There really isn’t anything better than a perfectly ripened mango from Africa. 

Today I am up and about again ready to face the public. The swelling has receded and my facial features have shifted back into place.

It’s Ramadan so we want to be out in the village visiting our friends in the evening…my appearance last week would not have brought the feeling of good tidings to them. So now I’ll bake over the next couple days and spend time with our neighbors as they continue into the second week of a 30-day fast. However, mangoes will not be on the menu. 


*Not his real name.

Feeling much better now!

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