Thursday, January 28, 2010

GHANA TRIP JAN-FEB 2010

Gerit drove me to the airport in exchange for my paying for her car repairs. Doesn’t come close to the amount but she was in bad shape. good flight. plane was maybe half full baggage came quicklyride was in the reception area with sign. name spelled correctly and in the right order. i'm almost always may melissa or mai melisa or some variationhotel is pretty nice gotta go check out the neighborhood now.

just back from a walk, which started as a jog. it's hot here. even at 6am
slept a lot last night. feeling almost normal today.
lunch with my client today.


Sunday. Got up early today and walked/jogged through the hot morning air. 6am.
Really always hot.

Worked for a while then had lunch with the exec director and deputy director of INDEPTH, joined later by the Communications person. Talapia, fries, veggies. Sounds normal although it was the full fish with eyes.

Worked in the afternoon then went for another walk down to the market I found on Sunday. It's very first world and seems to be where the white expats shop. And today there is clearly some major soccer happening and the store (and even many little "shop/huts" along the way) had the game playing on the TVs.
I took photos and found people very open to having their pictures taken. Quite a contrast to Morocco where few people agreed. Here some people asked to have their photos taken.

I took a photo of a beautiful young woman with a square box (more than a foot square) on her head. In it were some round balls of dough. I bought one. Turns out to be very much like fasnaughts (sans powdered sugar). After I turned off the tar road (they call it that) to where my hotel is, I walked past a restaurant of sorts. They advertise sports but won't show the American football game tonight. I'm out of luck.

Then I went to snap photos of 4 little boys asking me to come visit. Many people say hello. I thought that was a village thing. But they do it here too. Often they yell "obruni" which means "white person" or maybe "white woman." Not clear if there is gender involved or simply the lack of color. I’ve read that they’re not so fond of albinos here. So I hope it’s more the adoration of anglo-Americans and not the “truly pondering how I’m gonna kill you, albino” with which they greet me.

Further up that same dirt road were 2 teen boys riding tandem on a bike made for one. One holding the handlebars, the other a saw and hammer. The saw was facing out…which I suppose is the better direction.

Well, it’s going to be a boatload of work so I better get back to it. Saving myself SO much time not having to watch the games today.

Monday.
Up and jogged down to the A&C, past the gym, then headed back. Quickly showered and hit the breakfast buffet. Beautiful fruit.

I walked for a while then ended up at the restaurant on the parallel street. Great prices!
And even the big beers are 2 cedis (so $1.50) I asked for one and the waitress seemed confused. She asked me if I “take alcohol” which I readily agreed with.
My waitress was Cynthia. Her cousin is studying to be a doctor. Another is in Canada studying business. Cynthia wants to studying economics. She sat a while with me while the food cooked. I was the only one there.
Then 2 young men came and sat by me. I gave the rest of my beer to one.
The one was named Prince, but he never heard of Prince (the singer) who oddly enough was on TV on Tuesday night (from the 80s). The other had a tougher name but called himself Gentle.


Tuesday

Woke up late because I couldn’t sleep. Shower and breakfast…a bit delayed as no food was out for the buffet. 3 white people there today. French.

Worked 8:30 to 6+ . Had a break for about 40 minutes and walked back to eat rice cakes and leftovers. Took the flip back and taped my commute.

Done and back to the hotel. Quickly dressed and left for a walk around 6:35.
Walked around for an hour in nearly pitch dark with little kids yelling "obruni" at me. Went down to the other hotel I noticed on Sunday and checked out the rooms. They have a pool. Place overall doesn’t seem as nice though. Singles are cheaper but are tiny.

During this walk I heard this loud crying noise and looked over. A young woman, not too far from me, was pulling chicken feathers out of a still-living (but not for long) chicken she was holding in her right hand. I didn't hang out till his ultimate end. Oh gosh. Ghana.

I stopped by and watched a little of a Pentecostal service. Two men came over and asked me to join them. People here often say "welcome" and they did as well. It's so nice.
I walked down to the right on the main street then left past what seemed an endless line of merchants still offering their wares, hassle-free, even in the pitch black—broken only by headlights. Big giant ravines line the road and there are major holes in the shattered tar of the road. Accident waiting to happen. I was walking. Running way too risky. Plus I was dripping sweat by then.

Went to that same restaurant. Ordered dry fish and ground nut soup. Young man and different waitress—Maizie—were there. Again, no customers. I paid and she said “god bless you” I came back and they had given me God knows what. Didn’t appear to be fish. The creature was stuck in the middle of my ground nut soup in a plastic bag…so pretty hard to figure out how to eat. I extricated it and ate the soup. Very worried about my stomach now.

Worked and emailed all night. And SO weirdly there was a set of music videos of Prince on TV. Really strange…Cosmic. I'm sure Lauren would say it's virtual creation.

Wednesday
Up late, lousy sleep night. Decided to jog/walk anyway and explore a new area and go in late.

It rained. After short lunch break of cooked plantains from girl on the street (wrapped in University of Ghana test paper and cost of 1 cedis/75 cents) I noticed ominous looking clouds. It’s the dry season so they shouldn’t be here.

Full day at work…till after 7:00. Lots of electrical outages so AC came and went too. Part of day electricity out completely. Sometimes they kick in the generator. So having a laptop is a good thing.
Changed and walked to the front desk. Asked about getting to the beach and nice young man at desk offered to walk me around the beach on Saturday. He works late so will bring me back with him. Sounded like a great offer! Seems safe enough, as he works at the hotel and would be out of a job if he acted up.

I then headed to my favorite (even after terrifying meal last night) restaurant to see Cynthia. She was there and told me that Prince, from Monday night, had come by looking for me. I was glad to have missed that. I ordered and sat down to edit under a flashlight while waiting for my food. Ordered a Strawberry Cardinal, one of these odd liqueurs they sell for .50 cedis. Tiny amount and super sweet. Interesting.
Unfortunately Prince came back and sat down with me. Told me he couldn’t stop thinking about me. It’s been a while since I had a proposal of marriage so that was fun. . He's gotta be in his early 20s. Professed his love for me. Said he always prayed for god to bring him a while woman (obruni) so he's sure I'm it. Stares across the table at me and tells me I'm beautiful. Actually THAT I could get used to.I wanted to tell him I'm old enough to Easily be his mother. I mean really easily. Wouldn't even have been a teen mom. This is Prince and he's never even heard of the artist formerly known as. My gosh. He's a footballer. Plays for the Red Bull team in Ghana. Ghana has like 100 football teams. He's a defensive player. We have TONS in commonThursday

Slept a bit. Still not great. Tried to turn the AM radio on to serve as a sound machine. Little luck.
Walk mostly. To another part of town and past a nice-ish hotel.

Now usual routine of great fruit at breakfast buffet. Arrived 8:20. Worked to clean up document for Osman to talk about what I think they could/should be doing. We met for 90 minutes starting at 2:30. Exhausting for all of us.

1 Comments:

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice website.....guess i should actually start contributing.

brian

 

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