Monday, November 4, 2013


Aisle - Aburi Botanical Gardens
Aburi Ghana - mountain town - photo by Rachel Coleman
I pointed my bike down the first world newly paved hi-way.  It still led through the little towns, with neat little cement bright pastel houses lining the way in the small business districts.  In the last one that appeared before steep descent from the mountaintop plateau to the plain of Accra below, I was surrounded and stopped by a bevy of beautiful young black teenage girls, plainly dressed, marketing their last fruits at the end of the day.  These ones had no stalls, just carried in hand what they were selling.

Those that came first could see that I wasn’t interested, my mind on the bike ride home.  I’d more than 25 miles to go—on a bicycle will fragile fruits, not wise, I’d explain, and they retreated.  But the one with the brightest eyes came forward insisting these are the best mangos, and she only had two left.  “Please!  Only one dollar for this one.”
I protested, “No, No, and I’ve no idea if that’s a fair price.” 

“They are good.  It is a fair price.”  She looked for confirming nods from her compatriots who’d now receded to the sidelines, not so interested.  We were eye to eye—the moment of decision.

“OK” I conceded [I’d discovered and held a single dollar bill in my pocket since the transaction began].
She met my gaze more softly now, having won, with a tinge of satisfied compassion.  The mango she’d held with persistent arm outstretched was now replaced with the other one she’d held down at her side.  I noticed the one withdrawn had a bit of draining bruised gash on its underside she’d covered with her hand.

ack up on my bike and pushing forward, the foreigner and the native had made a deal.  It was days later before I got the chance to eat that mango—but it was yet firm and tasty.



We're all just the parts of God trying to get back together.
Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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