I'm not normally here on Christmas day!
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
21Trip End Feb 24, 2009
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We had no turkey or any sign of christmas dinner....do you feel sorry for us, naw didn't think so! We had a very, very hot christmas which didn't feel very christmassy until the friendly girl down the road selling water on the roadside invited us to go to her church....the church was heaving with tonnes of people all in their best African attire.....beautiful bright dresses and even the mens clothes were not dull blacks or browns.....as we entered the church we saw that everyone was up on their feet, moving, dancing, throwing their whole bodies into the act of worship....these guys really know how to have a good time in church! As we did the congo down to our seats we sung to the live band bashing out their african beats.....it was like going to a gig! In addition to the band, people in the congregation had tambourines, shakers, wooden xylophones....you name it they had it and they were all having the time of their lives! The familiar festive vibes at last came to me when they sung carols.....we had all your favourites, including a very hip version of Once in Royal Davids City and a toe tapping, hands clapping Ding Dong Merrily on High!
In the evening we found the most happening place in town....Sparkles, which was hosting an open mic night.....no we didn't get up and sing but we watched some very questionable singers who thought they were the next snoop dogg and some much better break dancers. We were accompanied by a very, very drunk guy who sat with us and said stuff like ' I like you peoples!' and would periodically get up and furiously shake his hips whilst waving his hands in the air...all the while grinning a massive grin....it was hilarious!!
And if your wondering.....we had a very odd version of spaggetti Bolognise with salad that was topped with cold baked beans for our christmas dinner! Very festive!
We had to travel on my birthday and so it was not so eventful....but we did meet a very sweet 14 year old boy going on 40 who really wanted to show us around and took a shine to Nick (What can I say, the children love him!) he took us for some Ghanian food, something called TZ which was CHO slop with horrible oily chicken stew.....sorry I don't mean to be rude but Ghanian food is really not the best!....We tried a different dish a few days back that was so oily, when you put your fingers in it (you eat with your hands in Ghana) and pulled them out the oily would make weird strings....I mean I've never seen anything like it!! It was the first time we have ever sent anything back...and we are not fussy, if you know Nick you'll know that he eats anything and everything! but apologising profusely, we had to order something else! Anyway on this particular occasion we battled on with the TZ then the boy invited us back to his house to meet his family......it was lovely to meet grandma and great grandma along with brothers and sister, aunties and uncles all living in basic concrete rooms off a shared courtyard. They were all very sweet and friendly despite our unannounced visit.
You find us now in the very dusty city of Ouagadougu, the capital of Burkina Faso, which despite the poverty here the place has a good vibe to it. Having crossed the boarder we are now in French speaking africa and we are now both kicking ourselves that we didn't pay more attention in french class! But thank god not only the language rubbed off on the people here.....the culinary habits have also taken hold and the food has improved 10 fold! Nick took me out for a lovely birthday meal last night, the real birthday meal, and we gorged ourselves on beautiful pasta, salad, wine and chocolate mousse....after Ghana, food never tasted so good!
I have to say though, we did have a great time in Ghana, and their English speaking was obviously a bonus for us! But even when there was a language barrier people were still happy and friendly....I remember walking past 3 elderly women with big pots on their head, who couldn't speak english, but when they saw us they burst into song! All 5 of us stood in a circle in the middle of the street singing and clapping and dancing....and when they finished they shook our hands and walked off as they couldn't speak a word of English! But that is the kind of people that we are dealing with everyday....and its lovely!
Next stop Mali.....
Happy new year!