When we were in Maua, and next door to our hotel, we met a wonderful person named “John the Carver Man.” He has a little booth set up on the street where he works all day carving and selling his wares to the public, especially those tourists or missionaries who are at the hotel next to him.
John has such a pleasing personality and was fun to visit with each day. We saw some of his work at Jim and Sue’s house at the Maua Methodist Hospital compound, and just fell in love with it.
On about Tuesday of our week in Maua, we saw a very short ebony log and asked John if he would carve something for us. The log was not very big, but John had a vision of carving three elephants in it, one large and two small, because the log was larger on one end and then tapered off. That sounded fine to us and we then negotiated a price for this work. Once we did this, I asked John if we could photograph him working on the project throughout the week and he said yes. The log came from Mount Kenya, and John picked it up himself.
Each night, Jackie and I would go by and see how the elephants were coming along. Some of our fellow missionaries would go by and check on John’s progress and tease us that they were going to outbid us for the elephants. Luckily, they did not and we were able to pick the finished piece on Thursday night of that week.
The elephants are headed home with us, and we look forward to displaying them at our house. We told John we would send a photo of them in their new home when they arrive.