Central African House & Home

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I was going through my pictures, and found two really great ones showing these fantastic curtains I had made while living on base in the town of Kaga Bandoro in the Central African Republic. I had them made to cover the entrance to the hallway leading to the bathrooms and the bedrooms. Sometimes people were in the living area while I was doing my privacy thing, and I did not like to be seen running to and from the shower by our staff.

The curtains created a nice barrier between the sleeping and the eating & living quarters in our little house on base, don’t you think?


I absolutely obsess over textiles now matter where I am overseas, and I have stacks of collected yardages at home. I really regret not buying as much of this fabric as I could. It was so cool!  It is hard to see here, since my camera was really not that great at the time, but the yellow bits are flowerbuds on long blue stems, and the background is a variegated green/blue pattern. The flowerbuds are defined by vertical lines drawn from base to tip–very mod.

The driver, whose name I shamefully cannot recall but who was really wonderful in every way, and I went down to the crossroads where all the trading is done. I looked in several shops until a simple, mid-century modern print caught my eye. I don’t remember how much I paid for it–maybe $15, maybe less. Our neighbour across the street was a tailor. He made the curtains for about $7, maybe even less. He even made them with internal drawstrings, so we could tie them back during the day, and close them at night or whenever we needed privacy. Yeah, that’s a treadle sewing machine he’s using! One of his sons had roundworm on his cheek, so I applied some Canesten and gave him the tube to keep.


Now that war is back, I wonder, are the curtains still there? Where are the tailor and his son? What happened to our lovely driver?


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