Letters Home


Today I picked up rocks and piled them for an hour, then walked around planting cuttings of some kind of pretty sedum and also some croton and a lovely vine that grows huge and has big blue trumpets. Then I went to check on Francelin, who had cleared an area under the faique trees right by the river. He was throwing the rocks off the cliff when I saw that there was a sort of topography that we could line the rocks along and make some irregularly shaped terraces. We had it roughed out in under an hour and it looked magical. It was just about quitting time and we were discussing what to do the next day. I was remembering the enormous spreading avocado tree at the Rendez Vous B and B in Vilcabamba, so I said we should plant a big avocado tree. Francelin thought a mango would be better for shade. I decided we should plant a non-grafted mango, one that will grow to full size. Francelin reminded me that it would be years before we saw fruit, but we have plenty of room to plant grafted trees, and I have a pit-grown sapling ready to go. I said, let’s plant that one, and it can fruit after we are dead. They get as big as an oak. Who would eat the fruit, he asked, your kids? I don’t know, I hope so, but I hope it will someday be an enormous dark green tree covered in sweet rosy mangoes.