The lawyer from the city of London arrived. He’s seen our prices and has decided to travel in West Africa, so probably isn’t expecting five star luxury but I occasionally feel a bit self-conscious about what we’re offering. I have to remind myself we’ve built everything from scratch in the bush. And besides, we only charge £10-15/night including breakfast. Although simple and rustic, it’s clean and comfortable.
We have a chicken and egg situation – to invest and make our surroundings more luxurious I need money but to charge more money I need the place to be more luxurious. Slowly slowly, a piece of furniture here a new electrical connection there is the way we’re going.
So, the lawyer’s looking around and I show him his house. It’s just a simple mud brick hut with straw roof. The walls are plastered with oyster shell cement.
His eyes widen.
“You have enough oysters here to build a house from the shells!”
I realise that perhaps I am rich after all.