"Ephram...like in the Bible", he said when we asked his name. When we moved in to the Farmhouse, our friend CaspersMom (the sweetest lady, but I can never remember her name, so she is just 'caspersmom') sent a garden boy to help clean up the garden. After a few hours, Ian asked Ephram if he was looking for work. "Yes" he replied. "Are you married? Do you have kids?" "Yes" he said once more. "Come by tomorrow with your family and stay the week." We liked Ephram, he worked hard and seemed like a good soul. He showed up the next day with Colleen and little Smanyilay. She was a tiny thing, and she screamed her head off every time Mona came near.
It's strange for me to have 'houseboys' and 'maids'... It just seems so colonial, so not me. But here in South Africa it is the norm, and I just tell myself that I will treat them with the upmost kindness. One can get very used to it as well; floors are cleaned daily, the garden kept, leaves raked, chores done, dishes washed... "It's just you two here?" Colleen asked. "Yes, just us..." "No kids?" she asked, perplexed. "No..." and I added "not yet" to make us both feel better. This is a four bedroom house, too large for just two people, especially in their eyes I'm sure. They are three, living in a space the size of a modest bathroom, yet within two days, they turned it into a quaint room, humbling me as I saw the pride they took in making it a make-shift home.
They went home to their other home for the weekend...I wonder what it looks like, what they are like when they are not at work for the mlungu. Before they left, I asked them if they wouldn't mind taking some photos, a family shot. They agreed, and just before hopping in the car with Ian to go home, I got to see them for a few minutes as a family.