I think the mangoes are peaking. The trees are loaded and dropping with the slightest breeze. I was treading lightly early season, not wanting to overdo it. Now I’m all in, putting mangoes in and on everything. Each bite into a mango is perfection. Like biting into nature’s full spectrum of decadence. The passion fruits are in season too, and those golden little nuggets, if you know where to go, litter the rainforest floor. Wish I could share a mango passion fruit smoothie with you. This island is flowing and full of food. Though it is not all mangoes and rainbows. There are some fruits you really don‘t want to eat. I’ve been told not to just eat whatever you find on the ground, but it has never really stuck with me. I’m partial to the taste test method and usually my curiosity gets the best of me. With that said, I ..A few days ago I was on a midday run, and was parched as you’d expect running for an hour at high noon. I decided to sample some roadside fruit..which looked like little green apples. Come to find later it is one of the most poisonous trees in the world. A present-day Spanish name is in fact manzanilla de la muerte, or “little apple of death.” the last 20 minutes of my run my throat felt a little hot and spicy, like I had eaten a hot pepper. My head and ears were hot. But I was running..and thirsty so  I wasn’t too concerned yet. I got home and was pounding water, and my stomach started getting knotted, and crampy. I spent the next 3 hours not able to venture more than a moments sprint from the restroom. The fruit is believed to be fatal if eaten. Dodged the bullet somehow. All I lost was an afternoon to the Manchineel tree, and relearned a valuable lesson. Don’t eat anything you find on the ground, or pick off a tree. So I’ll stick with the mangoes and passion fruits.

the teacher

 

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