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The question visitors ask the most is: were you actually in Africa? Suffice it to say, there is NO WAY we could have afforded this much African artwork if we'd had to buy it in the U.S. Wendy's Grandpa Steele took the entire family to Kenya for a 2 week safari in December 2001. It was a phenomenal experience...and someday we might actually get pictures up on the website. Craig became the family shopping legend. At every scenic vista, while others were taking photographs, Craig was off like a shot to the kiosk. We fortunately had packed a few empty suitcases in our luggage--these came home full. 

Not obvious in this picture is the hippo statue purchased from a Masai chief. Craig finally met his bargaining match, that and Chief didn't really want to part with the hippo. When Craig made a ridiculously low offer, the chief pulled out a two foot machete and started carving the bottom of the hippo to prove it was ebony. Not knowing what ebony was, we were more impressed with the knife. They continued to haggle even after the entire rest of the family had left the village and were about to drive away. Wendy found herself alone in the middle of the Masai village, caught between her husband haggling in the back with the chief and her family heading back to the hotel. We got the hippo. 



Our coffee table was originally a shipping crate addressed on the top to a Mr. Putnam. Linda and Randy purchased it for their daughter's toy chest--a mistake we don't intend to repeat with Isaac. While playing beauty parlor, Wendy spilled fingernail polish remover on it. There went the address and the chest's value...a heartache her parents never quite recovered from. 

We affectionately refer to the light behind the couch as the pentapus--a secondhand find in Williamstown, WV.


Craig was also a fabulous bargainer. He was able to get prices lower than even Wendy's grandfather who had lived in Kenya could. This batik started out over $100. Craig ended up getting it for $15. Wendy had pointed to a batik she liked, then came back later to find Craig bargaining on this one. "But I don't like it," she said. Craig thought she was using this as a tactic to get the price lowered. No, she actually hadn't liked it. But, after returning to the US and buying a house with a wall big enough for it, the mistake batik has become one of our most treasured African mementos.