Tuesday, January 13, 2009

As If I Could Be Bought off for Anything Less than Dark Chocolate

Last night a very pleasant woman came to the door. She said that she needs a job and that our friend Vreni had told her that we might be looking for house help. We invited her in and chatted for a bit. She has several children and has been looking for work since her previous employer, another missionary family, left a few months ago. We told her that we would think about it. This morning when I was leaving the center, the guard (All of our centers, like most office compounds, have guards to keep out thieves) stopped me and asked me if he could ask me for a favor.
- Of course you may ask.
- My sister (see above post about sisters) came to see you. I am asking you to please give her some work.
- Well, we liked her, and we may decide to hire someone for a few hours a week, but we have also been given some other names and we want to meet those women before we decide.
- Please, Madame, I am truly begging you. She will work well for you. Please do this.
- I will pray that the Lord will show me the right person to offer the job. How is that?

What could he say? He nodded a bit sadly and let me out. But when I came back, he looked much more chipper, and asked me if we like chips (fried plantain chips.) I love fried plantain chips, but I try to avoid fried foods. Thinking that his wife or another “sister” probably sell them, I told him that my husband likes them very much. He then said that he would bring me some tomorrow. Ohhhh, now I get it. He is offering me a bribe to hire his sister. So when he brings the chips, I will ask him how much they are. If he says that they are a gift, I will tell him that we accept, but that he must understand that I will still be praying and interviewing the other women before deciding whether or not to hire his sister.

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