Mango Trees vs Slippery Trees

“I will see you at the big mango tree down by the front fence”.

Those were the words you wanted to hear from a friend when you needed a listening ear, a confidant or a partner in crime. The time was during my years in elementary school at Las Americas Academy in Siguatepeque, Honduras.

Our campus was full of all types of banana trees, orange trees, grapefruit trees, pine trees, and some nameless trees. But our favorite trees were two trees, one extra large mango tree and a “slippery” tree.

I don’t know the official name of the “slippery” tree, but we all called it the slippery tree. It had no bark so we could easily carve into it’s branches the initials of our true love for the week. It had many long thin branches that we could swing up on and quickly scale to the top of the tree. And it’s branches never broke as we bounced on them pretending to fly through many storm clouds in our small plane or sail on the rough river with Tom Sawyer on our small, make shift raft. It was in the slippery tree we all gathered when we wanted to have friends join us in fun, laughter and imagination.

But when we had something serious to share, or when we were not in the mood for fun and games; we would climb the largest mango tree on that Central American campus. This particular tree was the one with the most leaves where we could hide out among it’s branches where no one could see us, even if they were right below us. It was our private hideout.

This is how I want to use my blog, for those private and serious reflections about the life of the Third Culture Kid, the expat and the mental health counselor.

So, meet me at the old mango tree during your next recess! I will look for you high above the cares of this world, deep in the embrace of those strong, leafy branches. Let’s talk.