The Carpenters

Not long after arriving in Maputo to work our trusty driver and general helper around the office suggested I needed a new bed a hand carved version and he new just the people to supply it at a very good price, so several days later a couple of rough hand drawn diagrams were produced for my perusal I was told to take them home as my wife would need to make the final decision Tomo was a good salesman he knew how to sell … a decision was made and the order placed, about two weeks later I was informed that I needed to bring my wife to Maputo to inspect the bed and to make sure it was up to our standard, now comes the interesting part this was still in the time just after the war and life was not so simple we were taken on this journey into the Barracas or suburbs a maze of windy very narrow streets if you can call them that in between rows of houses made of reeds ans mud to this clearing were we parked then a 10 minute walk to a second clearing and what a site greeted us a workshop staffed only by war and land mine victims each person was missing  at least one limb some two, they had an old lathe powered by a half bicycle  with an armless chap sitting on an improvised seat peddling the bike to turn the lathe and legless guys using home made chisels hand making this bed headboard this was a moving experience in people who made something happen out of disaster a people who created works of art even with the disabilities and misfortune that had befallen them we ended up buying two bedside cabinets as well. In today’s world of supposed entitlement this was a lesson to us., I will say no more except that this bed and side tables has now travelled to the other side of the world with us.

Till next time … lift some one up ………….two pictures of the beds hand carved by seriously disadvantaged people who made themselves more advantaged than most … makes you think

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