11. Meeting the Gatekeeper/Gardener

Over these next few days, we did a little of this and a little of that at the house. We went into town a few times on our driving days, stopped and used the internet for an hour here and an hour there to do bank stuff and check on other important things and we went for our walks on our steep hills by the house. One day on our walk we met Jorge the gardener/gate keeper for our little community. He speaks almost no English, and since we speak almost no Spanish, our conversations were limited. He was very patient with us trying to figure things out and we introduced ourselves, had a little conversation (as much as we could) and went on our way. One of the next few days on our walk we found a coconut that had recently fallen from a tree and decided to take it with us to try to open up and eat. We saw Jorge on the road and asked him if this one was good to eat (not rotten or anything like that) and he said it was good. He asked us if we needed a machete to open it, and I indicated that we had actually just bought one in town, but it needed to be sharpened (they sell them dull for obvious reasons) and he agreed to sharpen it for us, of course we offered to pay him for his time as well.


We walked home to get it, and when we came back, he had found 2 more coconuts for us and was showing us how to de-husk them (future coconut post will talk more about this). He took our machete and realized just how dull it was, he indicated it would take a while to sharpen and I told him tomorrow or whenever was ok (I really have to do all of the talking since even though I know little, Ramie knows just a few words). A few hours later he walked up to our house with our sharpened machete. He showed Ramie how sharp it was on some leaves and branches, and then told him to try it for himself. He kept indicating to be very careful of his fingers and not cut any off. Now that we had the machete back, we could open up our coconuts.

Another day as we were driving back in through the gate Jorge came running down out of his house with a huge mango (I guess the big ones are called mangas, and the small ones are mangoes). He gave this to us and pointed back at the tree behind his house that had more mangoes hanging from it. While we may not be able to communicate in the traditional way, through my little bit of Spanish, Jorge’s little bit of English, and lots of signing and gesturing, I think we made a new friend! (I also now know what tree to go look at to see what mango leaves look like and I can identify a new tree and delicious fruit!)