Adventure in Liberia
twelve people from the Zorzor community who worked on my mural.
Among them was Gayflor, one of the two professional artists in the community.
I’ve never painted a mural with a professional artist. I
must admit, passing off some of the things I usually do was a momentary
struggle. But, I thought that giving deserving people the opportunity
to shine was more important than my pride. Gayflor printed designs
on shirts and painted signs in Zorzor. What I needed was exactly
what he did, and he was one of the few people I’ve ever come across
who could outline the mural to my satisfaction. The time he saved
me allowed me to have more opportunity to savour the stay in Zorzor.
I returned to Gayflor’s home on another day. He wasn’t home but his mama welcomed me onto the front porch. We shared a plate of potato greens. Now, when I say we shared a plate, there was one plate and one spoon. I felt like a true African and welcomed into the family. I don’t know anyone else back home who would eat that way.
meal, it was time for dessert. Mama really didn’t know why
she was supposed to pull out the coal pot and start a fire, but she
did as I requested. She was about to get her introduction to chocolate
no-bake cookies, and she liked what she saw. The whole family
did! And, quite an extended family showed up to sample the goodies.
No shortage of talent in Zorzor
I was so
genuinely delighted that I gave him the entire can of chocolate baking
powder. Now, everyone was happy. But, as I have so frequently
discovered in my travels, it is hard to out-give the people I come in
contact with.Gayflor’s father was a tailor. He decided that
I should get one of his special African shirts made from country cloth.
It’s a traditional woven fabric that is kind of a dying art.
The shirts are magnificent and expensive, but I would have purchased
one if I could have found it. Zorzor really didn’t have
much of a marketplace. I’d already asked about these shirts
and was told I’d have to go to shopping in a bigger city.
Nothing I’d find could be as special as the shirt I wanted that
was made by a tailor I knew. But, in typical Liberian fashion,
ceremony was very important. I didn’t get the shirt on the
day of the cookies and potato greens. It had to be formally presented
during the dedication ceremony for the mural.
|Copyright 2016 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.|