Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sabina and Pa Garlough

Sabina and Pa Garlough lived across from us in Kenema and were probably the closest family to us during our two years in Kenema. Sabina and her family befriended us early in our days on Dama Road. It was Pa Garlough who came to help us on the night when a thief broke into our house, and it was Mama Sabina who saw to it that we had daily rice (she felt we were too busy to cook on our own). Pa Garlough had been a soldier in the West African Expeditionary Force in Burma during World War II. He was part Loko and part Mende. His English was perfect. In Kenema he worked in security as a night watchman for the Forest Industries headquartered in Kenema. Mama Sabina sold goods at the small school market nearby. The Garlough family became our family away from home. In trade for all they did for us we paid school fees for some of their children. One afternoon - I think it was a Saturday - Pa Garlough and a number of other men from our area on Dama Road decided to go into the bush and get comb honey from a wild hive. I went along just to watch. The hive was located behind the village of Bitema in the bush. What went on is worth recording. First off all men got quite inebriated with a local brew that was known as Omole´. Then they all took off most of their clothes and on getting to the hive went after the honey comb. The bees stung all of them furiously. There was a huge cloud of bees in the area. I stayed out of the immediate area and watched them but did not participate. Like little boy's these men collected the comb honey from this huge but wild nest and then brought it home to eat. Pa Garlough's face was stung enough so that it was quite swollen and almost unrecognizable.

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