On my silent retreat this past weekend, I learned an Indonesian phrase: mango friends. Although we don’t realize this in the United States, mangoes are one of the most abundant fruits in the world. There are tons of varieties: around 9 in El Salvador and I hear that there are more than 50 in Hawaii. It’s mango season right now, and mangoes are everywhere: in the grocery store, falling into the street, on our patio, on our dinner table. So mango friends are your close friends, those friends that show up everywhere, the friends that you can’t escape and wouldn’t want to if you could because they are so darn delicious.
Hints that you have mango friends (at least in El Salvador):
1. They show up at your door in the morning to borrow a skirt.
2. When you sprain your wrist, they wash your clothes for you by hand.
3. They know to add extra water for you when they’re making tea.
4. Dinners go too long because you sit around talking.
5. They share the hammock with you even when it dangles dangerously close to the ground.
6. They expect you to get ice cream with them before class.
7. After it rains, they need to show you the frog that has taken refuge in the bathroom.
8. They sing with you in the shower.
9. You call your afternoon runs “the wolf pack.”
10. You need to be alone to get your homework done.