It is officially Mango season in the Caribbean. Yay for us. I happen to be one of few fortunate GiTMO residents with a huge Mango tree in my back yard and it is loaded with this delicious, silky, sweet, juicy fruit. I am in a battle right now with the Banana Rats and the birds. The Banana Rats apparently love the fruit, ripe or not. Those darn things are just nasty, messy, and rude. The other day I left a few Mangos on a table outside, overnight, and they chewed threw every mango, peed and pooped and left a mess. Seriously, if you're going to eat my food, take it all and don't leave a mess for me to clean up. UGH... nasty.
The birds, well, I can't fight them. They have wings. They wait for the Mangos to ripen on the tree, then they begin to feast on them until the mango falls to the ground. Everyday I find at least 3-5 Mangos with deep holes in them, partially eaten. However, I can easily bring in the same number of Mangos ready to eat, so I guess you can say we're sharing. The tree has plenty, no worries. I'm just excited I can eat fruit fresh from my back yard. No pesticides, no preservatives, just like I did as a child growing in the Dominican Republic.
The rope swing. I had one as a kid and truly had forgotten how fun it was to just swing around, look at the sky, the tree holding me up, the birds above me (and hope they didn't poop on my head) and feel the breeze hug me like a blanket. We have one here and usually the kids go out and with a running start they go for a ride on this old rope. On this day, I just could not resist. I didn't do the running start thing because I would just hurt myself in many places. It was warm out but I have to tell you... the few minutes I was on the swing were really reminiscent of fun, childhood days.
Day at the Bay. What a fun day this was. MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) put together a super day for all the families. There was a reptile show, free T-shirts, free food and drinks.
They corded off a swim area, set up life guards in several areas (we don't usually have life guards at the beach), set the kids up with kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, some favorites like the banana boat and the iceberg (seen below). We also had life vests, beach balls, beach toys, and water shooting toys available for all the kids.
Jonathan above was happy floating around with his little life vest, playing with other kids his age.
This is Nat climbing the iceberg. The kid would stay on that thing all day if I didn't call her in to drink water and eat something. It's amazing how many times she'll climb that thing.
To add to the best beach day in Cuba, our amazing service members gave us a mini air show. We had a fly over by a C-12 earlier (missed that shot) but he was kind enough to dip his wings and let us know he was watching. Later the search and rescue helicopter flew by close enough for me to get this shot. You have to understand, around here we don't have airplanes flying over our roofs or helicopters flying around. It's not something we see everyday, if ever, unless we go to the airport on the other side of the bay.
Finally the band. We have a band in town, not sure of the name (sorry) but they do tributes to Jimmy Buffet so what better than Jimmy Buffet music when you're sitting a the bay, seriously, they were great!
My kudos go out to MWR for coordinating such a great day for everyone. I know they had to work hard to put together the event and they should know, it was well received, the kids had a great time, the parents enjoyed everything without worrying about kids getting into trouble in the water, it was a really fun day in Guantanamo Bay! Thank YOU!!!
Photos by: Terie