Without even thinking about Cassie's challenge letter H, over the last couple of days in Tarifa I've met a lovely African woman, Favour.
We'Ve had many conversations and I've met some of her friends and her youngest daughter, Ana.
Her story, the parts that she has shared at least starts in Nigeria. As a young married woman she and her husband decided to leave Nigeria in the hope of offering their children a better lifestyle. Working their way north they finally reached Tangier in the Morocco and their they waited in no mans land, sheltering and hiding from the local police behind a tin wall. Favour says to survive and gather the necessary funds to get paperwork and an illegal boat trip across the 13 km Straits of Gibraltar she did things she'd rather not remember.
Eventually with one baby and another on the way she got to Tarifa in Spain. Years later her husband was able to join her in Tarifa. Their oldest child is now 18. He wants to travel, but Mum wants to keep a close eye on him for a bit longer.
For 12 years Favour sold African handicrafts on the street, tough times and then the government in their wisdom banned people from selling on the street. Tougher times now as she didn't really know what she could do without an education. She is multilingual and has a delightful personality. After not working for a few years she then managed to pool resources and start a handicrafts shop on the edge of town where the shop rents are lower. I get the feeling she's been successful with this venture and now stocks handicrafts from all over the world including some Australian Aboriginal Knicks knacks.
Earlier this year the government changed their policy again re street sellers and will allow small pop up markets, 12 stalls max to operate, so long as no skills/crafts are duplicated. Whilst she had no job she lobbied and letterdropped around town trying to allow people to street- sell their handicrafts
Today when I caught up with her she was having a meeting with fellow handicrafters and they will make an application to local government for a small pop up market in Tarifa. She hopes to do hair braiding, others will have silversmithing, leather jewellery, fabrics, kids musical instruments etc.
she is very attractive, and with her beautiful skin, it's difficult to guess her age, maybe 35-40?? She drinks fresh orange juice with garlic and ginger every morning and uses homemade shea butter on her skin and in her hair. She learnt to do these things from her Mum.
Her husband has a good job working as a groundsman in one of the beachside campgrounds.
After telling George about challenge letter H he offered to go to the hotel next door, where I'd already had a rave about Rossi with the barman! George ordered three fresh orange juices and the barman would not let George carry them next door, but insisted he deliver them himself, on a tray and with much pomp, circumstance and hilarity. We enjoyed our drinks together and eventually bid my farewell to The delightful, survive against all odds, Favour.
I loved her hair extensions.
Mitchell, I bought you a little something from this shop, you'll have to wait until October to receive it.
Favour hopes to have an on line website one day, so maybe you can google her from time to time to see if she's got it up and running.