I am so thankful for people who have been helping me this week to get ready to start the school year.
Angelica will be working as my teacher assistant again and she has been washing the furniture, scrubbing the floor, washing the windows and tacking up visual aids 8:30 AM to 4 PM every day this week. One day she brought her brothers to "help". They helped for a little while and then they played on the playground.
Angelica's other brother, Miguel, tried to salvage my peppers (a habenero and a sweet green bell pepper). Peppers grow year round here... and just keep giving and giving. Unless... you have a dog that likes to dig holes in cultivated soil. Miguel and I dug them in deeper so their roots were not exposed, and got rid of the weeds. It was nice of him to help on a hot afternoon.
Pastor Chon came to my classroom on Monday and installed some wooden boards on the wall. Now I can hang the large bristol board character value posters and not worry about them falling down. The humidity here is so high that tape, blue sticky, and other tacking substances don't hold for more than a month. Some teachers use glue (Elmers!), but that sticks the pictures to the walls permanently and leaves a mess on the wall. BUT... with the new boards and thumbtacks my posters will be there all year, and I'll be able to take them down and put up something else if I want. After spending an afternoon working on this project he said, "We are God's family so we need to help one antoher."
This year was a bumper crop for my mango tree. This tree is the envy of the neighborhood. From April, when little green mangos start to grow on the tree until mid-September, I get about 10 visitors a day standing at my gate shouting, "mam, mam, Miss Nancy???? Can I have some mangos?" It's fun to give them away, a little like passing out trick-or-treat candy, but everyday? And worse, when I am not here, people just jump the fence and climb the tree or throw rocks at it to knock the mangos down. Often they climb up on the roof of the house. Once some neighbor boys threw stones at my dog because she was barking at them to protect the house. SO...as soon as I can get the mangos down, ripe or not, I want to do that.
This year I was blessed by Mr. Hyde. He is the husband of our school's assistant principal and his family lives two houses down the street. He climbed the tree, he used a stick, he shook the branches and knocked down about 200 mangos. Then he sold them and gave me the profits with just a modest cut. I told him please...just knock 'em down, I dont care about the cut. Then he came again and knocked down about 200 more. He sold those and brought me the profit! Finally, yesterday he climbed the tree one last time and knocked down the last 200 mangos. I set some of them on the wall and continue to hand them out when people come asking. Now that the mangos are out of the tree and I dont have to worry about who is jumping the fence, I can start to even feel thankful for mangos, and mango jam, mango cake, mango crisp, mangos with chile-sal, mangos on vanilla ice cream...