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By Alva Solomon
He bent down to fix her shoes while the photographs were being taken. Moments earlier, he picked her best dress to pose for the photographs. It’s a love which Jerome Bobb and his wife Eloise Bobb have nurtured for more than 30 years.
Uncle Bobb, as he is called, told the Village Voice News during a recent visit to the Moruca sub-region in the North West District that he met his wife, ’Aunt Eloise’, while he worked at a health centre at Long Creek on the Linden Soesdyke Highway. That was way back around 1991.
He said at the time he was a security guard at the health centre at Long Creek while Eloise moved to the area to work as a maid. He said his wife recalled that her first husband had died and she was grieving his loss. At the time someone was travelling to Long Creek from the interior location and the individual wanted to hire a maid. Eloise decided she needed the break and she was on the next boat from Moruca. While working at the health centre, Bobb encountered the young Eloise and they fell in love soon after. “The security guard fall in love with the maid and you know how that goes,” he said as those around erupted in laughter.
He said his wife then convinced him to relocate to Kwebana which is some 22 miles from Santa Rosa, the central hub of the Moruca sub-region. Noting that they are legally married, Bobb said in December 1992, days before Christmas and two months after the general and regional elections, he moved to the village. It was an experience filled with excitement, the man noted, adding that he wasn’t sure what to expect.
He said that he and his wife were mindful of their age difference; he was in his mid-twenties and she was in her early forties. But that didn’t stop them since their love mattered the most.
Uncle Bobb said the couple moved from various locations in the village before finally settling at their current home. He recalled they even lived along a creek in the area but he contracted malaria and the couple decided to move closer to the central areas within the village.
Bobb, who spoke on behalf of his wife, noted that as his wife aged, she started to lose her sense of hearing. He said, however, that her other faculties are intact, noting that she is a fluent speaker of the Carib language. Bobb fathered a son from a previous union and the man keeps regular contact with his offspring.
These days Uncle Bobb works on the couple’s farmland aback their home at Kwebana, noting that he likes that type of work. He said he loves the village life, noting that on two occasions he moved back to the city. He said on the first occasion, he moved to the East Bank of Demerera but he became ill. The following week he promptly moved back to the village.
He said on another occasion, he and his wife had an argument and he decided to relocate to the city once more. As he laughed, he said days after moving to the city, he started to miss his wife and decided to travel home within a week of ‘moving out.’
In his spare time, he reads a lot while his wife loves to cook. He said she also spend hours in the farm.
Uncle Bobb also boasted about his wife’s knowledge of herbal medicines, noting that she has the cure for many types of sicknesses. He said she also has remedies for simple cuts and similar injuries. The man recalled once he went to work in a remote area within the Moruca sub-region and while there he sustained an ‘itch’ on his hand. As the days went by, his hand became numb while the spot on his hand ‘turned out’ even more.
He said he travelled home and when he arrived, his wife examined his hand. The following day she went into the farmlands and came back with a plant called ‘bush yaws’ and she immediately prepared a remedy for his hand. The woman boiled the leaves of the plant and after it was boiled to her satisfaction, she squeezed ‘the juice ‘on the hand. Within days, the itchy feeling disappeared while the spot became dry as the days ticked away. “You would be amazed at what she knows and the plants which she can select to cure injuries,” Uncle Bobb said.
As he spoke about his love for his wife, he recalled that she had no birth certificate when they first met and he was determined to ensure her birth was documented. He said some officials from the General Registrar’s Office visited the village to carry out a registration exercise and he immediately spoke to the officers about his wife’s need for a birth certificate.
“They said yes, they had a lot of cases like that and the man said we can get her on the register,” he said.
Uncle Bobb noted that he decided to “make up a age for meh wife”, adding that after meeting with relatives of his wife, he found out that she was born around the year 1940. He said he chose the month of May for her birthday and selected the 1st day of that month since he noted , “she is a hard worker.”
However, other villagers noted that his wife is actually older than the date selected but by then she already secured her birth certificate and Identification Card. The couple lives a quiet simple life and according to Uncle Bobb, he finds peace in the village lifestyle at Kwebana. He said while he travels to the city whenever the opportunity presents itself, he is always thinking about his home and spending his days with his wife.