So here’s the thing. It’s the simplest things that your kids say to you that hit home the hardest and make you the most upset, or it was with the bangles.
When we were at Green Turtle Lodge beginning our ‘investigations’ on that first day we managed to fit in some lunch for the kids! As we were chatting we spoke a bit more to them about what was happening.
Son number two, Bubba, sadly said ‘Mama we won’t hear you jangle now’ followed by son number one, Inny, saying ‘we won’t know where you are anymore’ – I’m not sure whether he was happy about that or not, I’d like to, and do, think he meant it sadly.
On the way home Bubba told me from the back of the bus ‘Mama, maybe if you ask Father Christmas he will bring you some new ones.’
If only it were that easy!
So back to the final chapter….hopefully!
So there we are on Monday parked up by the beach stretching our legs when the call comes through.
Aubrey handed me the phone, I glance, it’s the owner.
‘Hello madam it is Favour, we have some good news!’ .
‘Ok’ I said guardedly. Now at this sentence my heart took a leap BUT she hadn’t actually said she had found them so I remained calm whilst she spoke for a bit about going to the lodge, speaking with her staff etc. When there was a break in her monologue I asked her directly ‘have you found the bangles’ and she said ‘yes I have your bangles’. At this I threw myself at Aubrey and we hugged and whooped in delight. She asked that we meet her in a town on our way home but to give her a while to get there.
So we stopped to get a drink which calmed things down a bit. As Aubrey said, they were not actually in our possession yet and until then we should keep an open mind. I knew this was sensible, especially as anything is possible in Ghana but I still couldn’t help pondering; how, when, where, and most importantly who!
So to the big meet. At a petrol station under a tree! The owner was younger than I had expected. She had brought her manager with her who we knew from our stay. On greeting us she didn’t give or show us the bangles straight away but started to talk about the situation. To be honest she could have told me anything as I wasn’t really listening much. I just wanted to see them and know that what he had found was indeed mine.
Finally (seemed like ages, was probably a minute) she announced ‘so we would like to give you your bangles’ and they were unwrapped from some loo paper (maybe the ‘stolen’ loo paper!) and handed to me. Yes they were definitely mine and after all the emotion, stress and worrying it was nearly a tearful moment. Nearly but not quite as I was in company! I did get goose bumps though.
We did ask those questions; how, when, where and who but they wouldn’t tell us. The manager did mention something about raking them up in the sand which we all knew was rubbish. The owner started to go on about how kids can pick things up and move them and not tell you, but we all knew that to be rubbish too. They just wanted to preserve some dignity. Fine, I didn’t care, I had them back. They looked as though they’d been kept in charcoal or similar as they were darker and slightly tarnished in areas where there had been joins in the past. They also smelt very musty and perfumed as if they had been in someones possession somewhere.
So that’s all I know. The owner did ask that we inform the police that the case was closed. Which I duly did. Sadly it’s not closed yet though as the police called today wanting my statement. I asked if I could email it but, no, we have to go and hand it in. I asked that if I had withdrawn my statement was it necessary that they had it and he suddenly got very defensive and started to get very irate. I was being really calm and respectful and asking as one would ask a normal question but I forgot that these are Ghanaian police and can get a bit irritated/angry quickly. I think they are taught it at police school, if they feel their intelligence or knowledge is being questioned! (NB Any Ghanaian’s or Ghanaian police reading this please be advised I am using artistic licence in my writing and this is, of course, all fictional so please do not take offence)
So many questions left unanswered but we are delighted that our patience and diligence paid off and the manager cared enough (who cares whether she cared about the missing bangles or the lodge’s reputation) to do something about it.
Thank you Favour.
PS. We didn’t pay a reward. The jury is still out on that one at the moment …..
So a happy ending. Thank you for staying ‘with it’! My faith in humankind wasn’t quite restored (someone still took them) but certainly my faith in it all turning out ok in the end has.
this week we have been wearing Daddy’s swimming trunks….