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Communiqué #124


to the PEOPLE of HAITI

May 17, 2017

M A N G O S   a n d   P B & J

People in Haiti always look forward to mango season! In the southwestern part of Haiti, this year the appearance of mangos is a bigger-than-normal deal! Hurricane Matthew devastated gardens and the mango crop in October 2016, leaving a people with no hopes of vegetables for months until gardens could be re-planted and harvested and no fruit until trees would again produce.

Much to the delight of adults and children alike, mangos have made their debut on Île-à-Vache this month! Suffering from a greater-than-normal food shortage has been a painful reminder what it is like to be hungry on a daily basis! The appearance of this juicy, tasty fruit is a welcome sight indeed!

It is not uncommon for children to eat 12 mangos in one sitting! It doesn’t matter that one will suffer a bellyache as a result, the tastiness of the fruit far outweighs the temporary discomfort.

The boys of GRACE Orphanage are equally as eager to feast on this treat! It is a pleasure to peel back the skin with one’s teeth and devour the juiciness fresh off the tree. An especially ripe fruit will result in the juices dribbling down one’s chin and dripping past one’s elbows, requiring a bucket of water to later remove the “sticky mess” from one’s face, arms, and clothes!

As the victims of Hurricane Matthew continue to struggle to have enough to eat and restore their lives to closer to how it was before the storm, please continue to keep them in your prayers and to help provide financial support!

On a recent visit to the orphanage, I was able to capture a few photos of our boys enjoying mangos. I also had decided to bring a large loaf of sliced bread, some peanut butter and some grape jelly. Little did I know that the boys of the orphanage had NEVER had PB&J sandwiches before. They had eaten peanut butter on bread, but had never added jelly. As I made sandwiches and cut them into triangular fourths, the boys watched in excitement. Once they tasted the sweet treat, they could not stuff the sandwiches into their mouths fast enough. I believe they were even swallowing the sandwiches whole in attempt to be ready for the next quarter that I would offer them. The older boys and the younger boys were both equally excited about the newest treat. The giggles that filled the room, the gleam in their eyes, and their excitement was so much fun to witness! They asked if today was a party!  They asked if they could have this treat EVERY day!! I cannot explain how much joy that this simple event brought to me! I think that maybe now I will bring PB&J to them EVERY time I visit. No toy, no trinket, no candy that I could have brought would have given them more pleasure.

Oh! The simple things in life! Today, as an American who grew up eating PB&J on an almost-daily basis, I am treasuring the joy that simple peanut butter and jelly brought to the boys of GRACE Orphanage!   And now I ask you … What is it today that is bringing you a simple joy??? Savor it! Treasure it, my friend!

Nora Léon                   

Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic      Until next time, God willing …………

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