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The Secret of Abetifi

172 pages2 hours


What better way for cash-depleted, university graduates to begin a marriage than with an extended, expense-paid honeymoon on a West African mountaintop? The offer, presented by a British charity on aging, sounds ideal to Ben and Francesca. All they have to do is investigate and evaluate the report of an unusually high percentage of centenarians living in the mountaintop village of Abetifi, in Ghana, West Africa.
Ben Hamilton of Bristol, England, with his crisp, new Ph.D. in anthropology, and his beautiful Brazilian bride, Francesca, with her specialty in biodiversity and psychology, make the perfect team to take on this assignment. They are especially happy to accept the assignment after being told it will be trouble-free and will provide them with plenty of time for honeymoon enjoyment and to absorb African culture.
Through information collected during interviews with the centenarians, archival data about a 19th century Swiss missionary couple who had lived in Abetifi, and analysis of seeds and pods from a Flamboyant tree on the mountain, Ben and Francesca stumble upon an herbal food additive that has the potential to extend human life. Unknown to the happy couple, a Big Pharma company from Switzerland is already at work in Abetifi with the very serious intent of discovering the secret to longevity from plant life and marketing it as an anti-aging pill.
The newlyweds are targeted by the multi-national, corporate giant when knowledge of their own discovery leaks out. Their cottage is repeatedly ransacked, they are followed into the forest and come face-to-face with two of their pursuers who are swept over a waterfall to their deaths; they fight off intruders in a middle-of-the-night attack, and finally escape through the bush to be air-lifted to safety by a United Nations Special Forces team.
Ben and Francesca return to a quieter life in London, but not before the pharmaceutical company personnel are deported from the country, the security firm that had been hired to pursue them is closed, and the couple is assured that the centenarians and their friends on the mountain will remain safe, along with The Secret of Abetifi.

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