April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010 Kay Jakmel, Haiti - no mangos with roasted corn and the color red

There is an auntie at my house who is full of magic. She likes to greet me by squeezing me all over, grabbing places that might be offensive if she weren't an old woman. Startling at first, but now I know she is just being warm.

She knows what leaves are good for what illness, how to make my little two year old friend laugh, and what you can't eat together if you don't want to get sick. No mangos with roasted corn on the same day, for example.

She's also got magic. There's something going on there under the surface, and--at night when the stars are out sometimes and we're sitting on the porch with the banana leaves swaying--I think I might catch a glimpse.

Soon I have to go to her with a notebook and drill her about when it is appropriate to eat fruit--because the soursop, the mangos, the papaya are amazing, but every time I'm sitting down to eat one she says, slightly exasperated at my dense nature and amused--"No! Not now! That one is for later. It will give you gas!"

The fruits are falling of the trees--please auntie, just one mango?

This morning she was helping my Creole tutor explain the meaning of colors to me. Red is for joy, blue for sincerity, yellow for betrayal, purple for the dead.

Even small children here know this. Here I am, a small child again, happy to have someone who knows about life to help me figure it all out.

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