5 July 2010 – Hamdia’s betrayal

The last month has been full of troubles and frustrations. The first one came the Saturday after the PTA (yes like in America it means Parents and Teachers Association), when Rofina reveled to me that Hamdia and Zalfahwu had lied to me. Here’s the story.

Thursday evening Hamdia asked me if her friend Mari could come and cook rice and stew for Zalfahwu’s mother who was coming for the PTA meeting. Zalfahwu and Hamdia had to go to town and help the Home Ec madam at her house so that is why they would not cook the meal thenselves. Mari would come Friday morning and cook. She would then bring it to the PTA meeting place for them to share with Zalfahwu’s  mother. I expressed my dismay that the school wouldn’t serve food to the parents after they had traveled so far to come to the meeting. Hamdia said they would certainly but it wouldn’t be nice. Well since it was her rice and stew ingredients I agreed.

So Mari came on Friday about 10:00 am. She had their rice and ingredients for the stew. Stew in Ghana is a sauce and the main ingredients are tomato paste, oil and onions. I went to the kitchen and saw that Mari was carrying my tomatoes, cabbage and green peppers out of the fridge. I stopped her and said that I hadn’t told Hamdia she could make salad and that the salad ingredients were for my supper tonight. Mari was surprised and said Hamdia had told her I had salad ingredients in the house. Sheapologized and put them back.

Yes Hamdia knew I had salad fixing’s because she went to market with me on Thursday. Hamdia also knew how dear those ingredients were. It’s the dry season and the price of tomatoes, green peppers and cabbage isat least double what is it during the height of the tomato season. When I bought them I said to Hamdia I hadn’t had them in the house for at least two weeks. It would be a real treat to have them again. Because of the price I had bought just enough for salad for one meal.

The time went quickly as I was marking my papers. It was after 2:00 pm and Mari came in with some food for me. I was surprised it was so late the meeting should have ended by noon but I figured Mari knew what was happening. When she left at 3:00 pm I thought wow Zulfahwuh’s mom must be hungry by now.

That evening Hamdia came. She was all apologetic about the salad fixings.  Then she tried to share or shift the blame. She said that she only meant that Mari should make salad for me. Then she said Goodness Zulfahwuh’s mother was an old village lady she didn’t like salad. Of couirse she didn’t mean for Mari to use the salad ingredients to take to the dorm. I again reminded Hamdia that she was supposed to ask me if she wanted to use my food or dishes. That we had discussed this earlier. She repeated that she had only meant for Mari to make me salad that the old lady wouldn’t like salad any way.  She left she to go help settle Zulfahwuh’s mother into the dorm.

Next morning Rophina and Portia were over having some tea. Hamdia and Zulfahwuh came about 10:00 am. They were laughing quietly to each other and giggling but not saying anything to me. I thought this behavior was unusual and wondered if they had something they wanted to talk to me about. They hung around until Portia and Rophina left.  Then they said “Madam, we have something to ask you” I figured from their behaviour it was something serious and maybe a bit embarassing but it wasn’t. They asked if they could cook for Zulfahwuh’s mother again. She wanted something to eat before she left for Bawku. Two thoughts flitted through my mind. Will the mother get home before the Bawku curfew if they cook now and that she must be hungry.  I said of course you can cook if you have your rice and ingredients. They said no they were going to Kampusi’s to buy but wanted to ask me before they bought. They left. I felt something was wrong with their behavior but couldn’t put my finger on it.

I ask how the mother’s night was. Hamdia told me it was hot and soo many mosquitoes she didn’t sleep well. She said If only master Jerry were around Zulfahwuh’s mother could have stayed there because they were both from Bawku. Then I felt guilty for not offering for her to stay with me. I had an extra bed.

They cooked and weren’t done before 2:30. When they left I wondered how the mother was going to travel the three to four hours to Bawku and make the five o’clock curfew? But that wasn’t my problem and my mind turned to Rofina and Portia who were coming to make Tee Zed and we would have the salad tonight.

The three of us were in the ktichen when Rofina asked me why Hamdia and Zulfahwuh were there this morning. I told her that they wanted to cook some for Zulfahwuh’s mohter before she left for Bawku. Rophina asked where Zulfahwuh’s mother stayed. I said the dorm. Rophina said no. No parents stayed in the dorm last night or ever. 

I leaned against the wall and slid down. These lies were the end for Hamdia and I. My heart broke and I cried.

My unease made sense now but why would I suspect them of lying to get soemthing I have so redily given in the past. I have only refused if I were going away for the day. Why these senseless lies? After all the chances I have given her. After all I had done for her to show me such disrespect.

I called for the girls prefect and for the dorm prefect to ask them to confirm that no parent was at the dorm the night after the PTA meeting. They both did. Then in my investigations I also discovered that Zulfahwuh’s mother didn’t even come from Bawku for the meeting.

I haven’t seen Hamdia since the incident. She has not come to my house or my classes. Portia said she has heard I was asking around about Zulfahwuh’s mother and knows she is caught. And now I won’t see her again because all the Form 3s were sent home.

 This has really hurt me. I tried to make a home for some of the students and she just took advantage of me.

-vc

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