Monday, January 31, 2011

Our New Friend Agasu and His Minions

This weekend, Spousal Unit and I went to the Samaritan House fundraiser dinner, at the United World College. It looks like a Southwestern Hogwarts.


It was an exciting evening, thanks to my friends' offer of free tickets to the event. We didn't discover until we got there (sneaking - in heels - around the cranky security guy who wanted to see tickets we'd never heard of) that one of them is president of the Samaritan House. We felt a bit sheepish.

Along with a delicious meal of mozz and tomato salad, pumpkin curry soup, and chocolate-drizzled biscotti, there was amazing music performed by students from around the world. Peruvian drumming, an African choir (which can be hired for events!), plus Nepalese and swing dance.

Oh yeah, and the silent auction.

We've never participated in a silent auction before. Some part of me has always been wary of seeing lots of shiny things, bidding on them, and then finding out you need to sell an arm and a leg on the black market because, whoops, you've accidentally won everything.

Clearly, I don't know how this is supposed to work. Good thing I'm too wary to carry through on freakish over-bidding.

We put down bids for several way awesome things, including a gorgeous carved necklace and beaded earrings which we didn't win.

Here's what we did win:


We named him Agasu, after a character in American Gods by Neil Gaiman. In the book, Agasu is captured in Africa, brought to America as a slave, and eventually helps win freedom for a plantation in the Carribean.

This hand-carved ebony statue comes from Zambia, where ebony is very rare. Spousal Unit talked to one of the students about the statue, and for the rest of the auction, several students stood right next to it, cleverly blocking other bidders. (But don't tell them that.)

We also won this Japanese fan, coquettishly demonstrated by Spousal Unit:


And this Japanese shawl:


But that's not all, folks! We also won this tapestry from Guatemala, featuring birds of paradise:




Saying that we "won" these things feels wrong, because we did pay for them; we just paid much less than we would have outside of a silent auction setting. The money we paid will help the Samaritan House greatly, and that makes me happy, too.


Though I can't say I'm disappointed in Agasu's choice of friends.

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