Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tito the Guard Goose

So I had this thought about sweetened condensed milk the other day: and this thought mainly was that it is ridiculously good. In Vietnam, every day we would drink Café Sua Da, a magical drink that tasted exactly like coffee ice-cream only better and in a drink form. The magic ingredient? Sweetened condensed milk. Then yesterday, allllllll the way across the world on this lovely little island nation in the Caribbean, I had one (ok, two) mango batitas (smoothies) that were so good I could barely breathe. The secret ingredient? You guessed it.

I refuse to look up the nutritional facts because I don’t even want to know. What I know is enough – it is the best thing since butter and Willis ranch steaks that a cow ever contributed to this world. It makes my life a better place.

Speaking of my life, it is about to temporarily change. Tomorrow we leave for the training site where we will be training about 30 staff over the next week. I am super excited – and exhausted already – and super excited again. I am excited to start training (In Spanish!) – to meet the staff, to see how all of our work comes together, to see the leadership team step into their roles.

And to see how the saga of Tito the Guard Goose unfolds.

I first met Tito a couple of days ago when we took a quick trip out to the training site. We were greeted right off the bat by Tito, a giant goose. It turns out that Tito is the .. pet(?) of the owner of the site. He is shockingly similar to a vicious guard dog. He sticks as close as possible to the side of the owner - When the owner goes upstairs, Tito goes upstairs, when the owner goes downstairs, Tito goes downstairs. It is very evident that the owner loves Tito very much, and pets and kisses on him and gives him little treats just like he was a beloved dog. I found this strangely charming until I found out the hard way that Tito is fiercely protective. When I made the mistake of crossing between Tito and his owner, I got bit! Tito came at me so fast I didn’t even have the chance to react, and he chomped on the side of my leg. It hurt! Needless to say he is effective, and I stayed a healthy distance from his owner for the rest of our time there.

However, our camp director didn’t learn this lesson quite as quickly. She was out picking cherries with a couple other people on our leadership team, an activity that Tito clearly did not approve of. He apparently thought that the cherry-picking situation was a large problem to warrant reinforcement, so he called in the back-ups. Soon there were about 6 geese in ‘V’ formation bee-lining for our camp director with wings flapping and necks swinging. The rest of us were still sitting at our lunch table, and heard a huge ruckus of flapping wings, honking, and our camp director yelling “AUXILIO! AUXILIO!” (Help, Help!) The owner had to run over and intervene.

I have no doubt that Tito will add a little bit of spice to our training, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, my Magic soap is still magic, chacos are still horrifically stinky (thanks for the advice though dad, if I can scrounge up some baking soda I am totally going to try it out), I am learning a lot of camp-y Spanish words, and I am on the lookout for more ways to incorporate sweetened condensed milk into my life.

ps – happy birthday ito ito ito.

1 comment:

Kent said...

Strange how things go full circle. Before extensive refrigeration was available, sweetened condensed milk was a staple in American cooking, particularly baking. A company called Pet Milk made a fortune selling the stuff. Now, since fresh milk is so available and folks are more health conscious, its use has declined, but it is still out there, so you'll have to whip something up when you get back to the states.