My Africa Story – 12

Solid Silver Bracelet: horn of plenty, Ghana and the White African Elephant were among 6 of the designs

Solid Silver Bracelet: Horn of Plenty, Ghana and the White African Elephant were among 6 of the designs

We arrived back at the compound, somewhat jostled, somewhat dispirited, but nevertheless, we had a wonderful weekend. The house was well taken care of by the amazing, young, vibrant and overly polite houseboy, Ade. I didn’t care for the way he addressed each of us, as though we were royalty. He even bowed as he greeted us. I never figured out why it made me so uncomfortable.
Most of the week was spent waiting for meetings to take place. Fred had to pay off (dash) various people simply to get appointments set up. But then we would wait even three hours for the person to show up, if they actually did.
Fred took me to lunch in the downtown area, there were very few restaurants, but he found one that served Chinese food and knew it would be a treat for me from the food we had been eating which was fairly bland.
After lunch Fred noticed a man squatting on the sidewalk with an anvil, torch and a roll of silver wire. He went over and started talking with him. The man grinned a toothless smile at the conclusion of their conversation, fired up his torch and within an hour had made this incredible solid silver filigree bracelet for $45.
We shopped at open air markets for our food, the fresh bread on tables right next to the fresh fish. The prices were beyond reasonable and the food was fresh and very appealing. We decided to have a dinner party the next Saturday evening and I had a field day buying shrimp right out off the boats for about $2 a pound, beautiful fresh vegetables and I even found large luscious strawberries for dessert.
The dinner party was for 12 people and even though I insisted on doing most of the preparation, I had to forcibly strong arm my way into the kitchen to do the cooking. I think the cook was afraid I would put him out of a job.
I was particularly surprised none of the men brought their wives. They proudly, yet nonchalantly introduced their dates as their girlfriends. Surprisingly, I held my tongue until I had Fred alone to ask why none of the men brought their wives. The dinner party was received well and everyone stayed until very late in the evening. The wine flowed and the food was consumed with great appreciation.