“Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.”
This morning it was dark when I heard the blasted alarm ring. All of a sudden I flashed back to those working days when I got up at 5 or 5:15 every day. It was a daymare. This morning, though, it was so I could get Francisca to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport. Her five-day visit finished in a flash.
Last night I had more trick or treaters than I can remember in years, and Francisca came to the door every time so she could see all the costumes. She was also the official dog holder as Gracie was more than willing to join any of the groups of kids. Gracie was sporting her new Halloween collar, a gift from my friend Clare. She looked quite festive in orange and black with a row of pumpkins, ghosts and witches circling her neck. I wore my wizard’s hat which played Ghouls Just Want to Have fun as the tip of the cap moved back and forth in time. I had bought Francisca a small witch’s hat as a surprise and she wore it all evening.
The house still smells of last night’s dinner, the leftover FraFra meal from Sunday. It was even more delicious last night than the first time. Watching Francisca eat was like being back in Ghana. She used her hand and scooped everything including the rice. I’m good with the t-zed, but I’m not so good with the jollof rice. I don’t tend to get it in enough of a ball, and it all falls apart before I can eat it. Ghanaians eat the bones, and Francisca finished off the Guinea fowl bones while I ate more than my share of the leftover meat. Gracie got the skin and, believe me, giving it to her was a sacrifice on my part.
The day is dark and cloudy and has nothing whatsoever to commend it. It feels damp. I sat and waited with Francisca until the bus came as Africans are not lovers of the cold. She bundles up for any temperature below 70°.
It seemed so wonderfully strange to have one of my students here. Never would I have envisioned it when last I saw them in 1971. Francisca’s elder sister Bea will be in Canada soon for her daughter’s wedding, and Francisca is helping Bea to get a visa to visit the US after the wedding and is hoping that she and Bea can visit. What an amazing gift that would be for me.