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When life gives you mangoes…..STARVE!

For my summer semester I got to spend 2 weeks in a beautiful tropical jungle in Costa Rica. It went very well for nearly the entire first two days. We were staying in a little room with no air conditioning that was open to any bugs that wanted to come in and cuddle with you. Right outside the rooms were mango trees full of ripe mangoes! So with all that being said you would think the worst thing imaginable that could happen would be that mosquitoes would keep you awake all night and leave bumps all over you. Possibly giving you a disease like malaria or worse, but this is were you would be wrong! Unknown by me, mangoes that are not completely ripe contain lots of tannins that are concentrated in the skin. When you eat lots of them off the tree the tannins and other chemicals can make you break out in a similar way to poison ivy. Over the remainder of the trip I started with a rash on my mouth that soon moved to include my nose, ears, face, eyes, chest and almost anywhere possible for a rash to spread. Keep in mind this was only 2 days in when all this started and in several places we visited in Costa Rica we were several hours away from any drugs or places to buy medicine. Also to add to the fun I was already having, the point of the whole trip was to be able to see as many species of birds that are very beautiful as possible . Well, to see many of the birds that were far off binoculars were needed. Trying to look through binoculars with puffy eyes is not only uncomfortable but painful as well. So long story short I had a lot of hands on learning throughout my trip to Costa Rica!