I have had a good rest this weekend, shame it had to end so soon. It’s amazing what complete silence and a day watching desperate housewives followed by cougar town can do. My mission to go clubbing kind of faded in the wind, the mere thought of it made me tired, and although it is my Nigerian colleagues last weekend in Accra, unfortunately the tiredness took over and he’ll have to make do with a couple of drinks on Tuesday after work.
I have enough energy today to do the household chores this morning but before I start that I just want to reflect on the few events that happened over the weekend. Firstly the bad stuff. I made the mistake of telling smother about the box of provisions. “If it was me I wouldn’t except it, I would have said this, I would have said that, I should have been there”. I didn’t want to mention the fact that she had given the carpenter some money to start the kitchen and to this day we are still waiting. I don’t know if he is still growing the tree he needs for the wood or what but no comment, she did give birth to me afterall so best not to say anything and spoil all that good rest I had fighting with her.
To the nice stuff. Once in a while, somebody restores my faith in human kind and makes me happy that I am here, they do something that would almost never get in London and gives me hope for a better life here. There is this guy (this is not a romantic story), his name is Willie, he is like the odd job man and does the handy work in some of the houses here. A skinny guy, with buck teeth and a big gap between the two front ones. An odd looking chap with a heart of gold. In my estate, it is a bit like my road in Essex. Nobody really talks to each other, zero community spirit although not so rude as to not greet when they walk by. Most of the people here are “foreigners”, Nigerians, Ivorians, a few Obroni’s and well to do Ghanaians so it’s not surprising that people mainly keep themselves to themselves. I have been used to this life so it doesn’t bother me. However, if you ask about the lady who was burgled or mention a particular door number they can direct you to my house.
I met Willie one day on a Saturday morning and he said that he noticed I needed some painting done on the exterior of my house and he could do it I just give him something small, although he didn’t name a price. I didn’t have the money at the time for the painting but had to do some weeding so I said he should come over and do that and when I am ready to do the painting I would call him. He did the job, it was quite overgrown and it was Christmas so I gave him a 20. So he started doing some odd jobs, I’d give him a 5 or a 10 dependant on the job and my cash flow. He never at one point said the money was too small, he always took it in good faith and go on his way.
Yesterday he was passing by the house when I happened to be walking by. He told me that a lady from the office had told him to do some work in the house but he knew that if I wanted something I would call him. She had called me earlier in the week and mentioned that the Landlord had asked for something to be done, but considering I won the house I thought she meant outside so just said ok and left it at that. Anyway I said to him that I didn’t have anything on me, but my garden needed weeding. He said I shouldn’t worry. He’s taken me as his sister and his mother so whatever I needed he would do it. He came in, did the job, he even tidied up the compound and cleaned my porch. When he finished he said he was off so I could lock the gate. He didn’t hang around for “something small” or say he would be back later, just goodbye.
It’s people like that, I don’t mind giving a tip. They just do things because they see you need help and do it out of the goodness of their heart, he doesn’t have much, just a handy man making minimum wage and so relies on the tip, but doesn’t make you feel like it’s your duty to do so. I was really touched and a gem like that is rare especially in today’s world full stop. As I had excess provisions from the Boantech people and from the christmas package I did him a little parcel. A couple of cans of milk, a bag of Milo and a pineapple, the pineapple I had bought earlier on in the week but we have it almost everyday at work for desert so couldn’t be bothered with it. It would be going to a good home.
God bless you Madam, he said and went off on his merry way. When I’m in a position to help out somebody other than myself, he will be the first on my list.
Never got that in all my time living in the west. Definitely the plus side of living in this country.
Here in Ghana some people can take your leniency to be your weakness, but I can’t be harsh like some of my aunts and colleagues do to the manual workers. Some have taken the piss with it, then that’s when the bitch comes out. But once in a while I meet someone like Willie, that’s why I believe to be nice in the first place, because you never know the day when you might actually need them. Like the saying goes, be nice to those on the way up because you may meet those same people on the way down.