Constantia Village nestles in a basin of mountains draped with grapevines dripping wines of a quality that impresses the palates of connoisseurs around the world. And that means it attracts visitors and tourists. Which is why Mutasa and Noel have set up their remarkable collection of bead and wire creations at the entrance to the parking lot of the village mall. There are kudu heads fashioned from reclaimed metal, bicycles from wire, lions, elephants, lizards, and a herd of other African wildlife exquisitely crafted in multicolored beads and wire.

It was love at first sight. His neck was long, back strong, and legs with knobbly knees stood firm – elevating him to a height of at least eight feet above the pavement. He was one handsome giraffe. “Smack his back, he is very strong,” boasted Mutasa with a smile. “He’s been here for quite a while now.” “This smaller one just needs a pat,” interjected Noel drawing my attention to a smaller giraffe nearby. “Look at his face, it is lovely, you should buy him.”

“Are you two brothers?” I asked. Noel laughed, “Brothers in business, that’s all.”

I looked up at the docile beaded face tilted down. “He has no eyes!” I exclaimed. “We can fix that,” responded Mutasa springing into action. He retrieved two large eyes from a box and skillfully inserted them within a beaded frame.

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“I really like the large one,” I said. “But we live in Canada and he’ll never fit on the airplane.” “No problem, I can fold him up for you and he’ll be fine.” “Ok,” I said. We agreed on a price and I went off to find an ATM machine. I don’t haggle in Cape Town with vendors. The work they put into their craft is never covered by the price they ask and with the privilege of a great exchange rate I can afford to pay more. When we returned my new friend was tied up in a bundle and released from his creator with a beaming smile.

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“I feel bad for you,” I said to Noel. “I put up a good fight,” he replied sportingly with a shrug. “Maybe you can buy one of these smaller animals.” “How about these elephants,” I said, bending down and lifting two from the collection. “That would be good,” he said – completing our transaction with a philosophical smile.

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At Cape Town Airport the bundle of wire beads was ‘mummified’ in plastic and sent on its way as a fragile package… all the way to Vancouver Island with Sheryl. I planned to unwrap the ‘object’ on Easter morning as part of my talk with the children about how Easter is a day of surprises. “What do you think this is?” I asked as they gathered around and we began to tear open the package. “Who would have thought it’s an eight foot giraffe all the way from Cape Town – and his name is Jeffrey!” They laughed with delight as his neck unfurled and towered above them, just like a real giraffe.

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After giving him time to acclimatize Jeffrey now has pride of place in my office. From a sidewalk in Cape Town to a desk job on Vancouver Island. This is one giraffe that’s come a long way and I’m so glad he did.

Singing on worship team:

IMG_2536IMG_2537Drinking for the fountain and admiring his new country flag….

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And finally in my office….:-)

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