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Well, there is no getting past it...

For the most part, this has been a rubbish weekend. There were three briliiant things for which I had much keen, and I managed somehow to miss all of them.

Oh well, not every day can be a rose. Need to work out some way of cheering myself up...I'll start with a photo from Botswana.  Africa always makes things better.

The photo was taken by larians. I call it the Louboutin Bird, and it reminds me that I was told a cool story last week.

My cleaner's father was a Muslim in Sierra Leone, and he had four wives; the result was that my cleaner, whom I will call 'G', had 11 sisters and 12 brothers. After her first period her father decided to marry her off to her cousin. G decided she wasn't up for her father's decision, that she wasn't ready to marry at all, and so her father put her under guard of her brothers up to the day of her wedding. She couldn't go anywhere without her brothers watching her! She had an aunt in neighbouring Guinea who said that her door was open day and night, should young G wish to come to her.  And she had a little bit of help from her sisters, aunts,mother and grandmother too. These accompanied her to the toilet house one day (not the job of guardian brothers) and waited for her outside while she went in to find herself greeted with,of all things, a ladder. She climbed out of the toilet, and ran across to the getaway taxi previously arranged by her lady relatives, who were all standing outside the toilet chatting casually. Away she flew, across the border to Guinea!

Her father was furious for years, nor did his mood improve when he learned his daughter had embraced Christianity.  Still, with all her other sisters in frankly miserable marriages, while the lady herself is able to help many family members back home with her London earnings, he has come to respect her decisions.' He accepted he had made a bad mistake,' concluded G.

G wants to return, to go to Zambia and open a restaurant, as she is a chef by trade. 'Everyone here works so hard, and no-one is happy. There is so much stress!  It is OK not to have things, but it is not OK to be sad all the time,' She said. She reckons it will take her five years to save up enough.
'There are wonderful things here,' she said, 'I have learned so much, about being kind to animals and respecting different kinds of people. But still...There is so much money to be earned here, but what is the point if people are too tired to enjoy it? Maybe they need more sunshine.'

That might be the answer. If she ever does open that restaurant in Zambia, I may visit. One day I will sit by that river again, sipping something cool and watching the sunset.  Now there's a cheering thought...



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