Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama, Michael Jackson.....Big topics in Ghana

I am in Ghana, I am having fun and also working hard. As is to be expected in a country such as this, things move slowly. However, I feel we’ve made a lot of contacts and also purchased a lot of product to sell. The purpose for my journey is to find good people who make ‘goods’ and want to change their life from good to better.

Cultural ditties- I will journal a bit about my experience and the inner workings of Ghana each time I blog.

The Cows Come Home…

Not the cows but the goats and chickens. Each day the chickens and goats go find food at the neighbor’s, at the park and out on the highways. Then at night each and every night they return to their owner’s house and sleep in their designated spot.

My Ghanaian alarm clock is a nervous dog apparently he has had too much time in his tiny, very hot kennel. Much like when Tom and I stayed in Italy and we would awaken courtesy of the neighbor’s rooster. His voice box had been ‘altered’ and now he sounded like a sick clanging bell. Like the rooster I’ve become used to my crowing dog and can sleep right through his cries and pleads.

My Arrival….
It was dark upon my arrival. A man named Prince, along with Kate picked me up from the airport. Customs is a four part process. An Italian on the plane said it is long and toilsome. I didn’t find this. It was quick and I saw him get through as quickly as me. The thing I noticed is to hang back a bit and watch what the person before me was doing. Then be prepared with your documents.

The house where we are staying is quite far from Accra. It is a gated community and I am sleeping in a bed exported from America. The air moves constantly here so opening a window to sleep is fine and the ceiling fan does the rest. It is very humid, as I type my palms sick to the computer a little. It is rainy and very damp today. I am surprised to find last night I needed a small sweater.

Today I would live the life of every class in Ghana. I was carried by a driver in a car which is brand new, whose owner is wealthy. I traveled in a car owned by a rare person of middle class and I rode the Tro-tro. This is public transit in the form of a VW bus styled vehicle. It seems much larger fitting 16 people and is made by Toyota. The side door slides and this is where the “money taker” sits with his arm out pointing as the van passes letting those waiting know where he is headed while at the same time using his arm to hold the door closed, the latch is broken. “Ashongman, Tema and Accra,” the people wait to see his signal from the roadside as the buses pass, hoping this one goes to their destination.

Waiting for the Tro-tro behind us by 20 feet was a table holding palm oil. Big, recycled jugs of great variety stand on the table. They hold red liquid which looks like tomato juice. People are behind this in a building, one stretched long on a table resting in the shade.

We board the bus squeezing into the very back. Kate says back to me, “be careful not to get cut even though you have your tetanus shot.” My eyes survey the many rough metal edges, trying to avoid them.

I move forward beyond a woman and plop next to Kate. The breeze through the van is ample. Two young men sit in front of us. The money taker calls on them to pay. The road we are traveling is lined with shops. Opportunity seeking booths line the streets in front of the shops. They sell everything from food fufu, whole cooked fish and chips, balls of sweet dough, to toilet paper.

Just before an underpass (above looks like a freeway) on the embankment there are animals, goats, cows and eating the long grass.

*President Obama will be in Ghana tomorrow. Thus, a topic of high interest in Ghana at the moment.

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