When he was away from home, Demond let Macario look after the farm. He always thought of Badru and Abebi, hoping that they were attending school and not staying hungry because of the money he was brining in. He wondered if he would see Akua again, whether he would return a successful man with lots of money, but Demond never heard from him.
“I shouldn’t worry too much, I have to move on,” he thought.
Badru and Abebi attended school regularly. They helped Demond on the field when they could, but he rarely asked them. He could afford hiring help.
Demond hid the cannabis plants in his maize crop. He used the maize skins to roll the cannabis cigarettes.
When not visiting the tourist hot spots Demond found another source to sell his goods. He discovered that the vegetable vendors could hide the cigarettes under the fruit in the food basket. It was easier to transact this way. He gave some commission to the vendors.
Nomuso never questioned how he was making money. She was happy that they were not hungry anymore and could afford better clothes and school. Demond didn’t feel anything wrong in what he was doing. At least he was better than his father, so he thought.
After the incident in Lake Malawi Demond and Nanji decided to stay close to home and look for other opportunities. Towns like Blantyre, Lilongwe required shorter trips. If things didn’t work out they were planning to try out the market in neighboring countries like Mozambique or Zambia. A few weeks passed by when Nanji suggested they visit the Central Craft market in Lilongwe. It was a fertile ground to meet visitors and also vendors. Demond liked the idea. They spent the whole morning strolling on the grounds, pretending to see the crafts at the same time trying to make contacts. By noon they were hungry and walked out of the market to scout the neighborhood. Within a couple of blocks they saw a non-descript Indian restaurant called the Spice of Life. The restaurant was a one room establishment with twenty tables draped in paper tablecloths as soft Indian instrumental music played in the background. A wall on the left had a framed picture of Laxmi, the Indian goddess of wealth draped in a red Sari, and standing on a lotus flower with two of her four hands pointing down and the other two raised up holding flowers. A wreath of marigold flowers was draped around a yellowing frame. There was a large framed photo of the Tajmahal on the opposite side.