You are what you eat

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday morning Maria and I packed up and made a trip into the 'big city' of Accra. The best way for Abruni's to get around is by taking the fast car, an upgraded version of a tro. The fast car cost 5.5 Ghana Cedis, which is a bit more than a regular tro, but it has AC and doesn't stop along the way. How it works is that you go to the station and wait until the tro fills up (14 people), then you jump in and ride in style. I sat next to a young Ghanaian who knew where Alberta is! It turns out that he is quite a scholar and has applied to the U of A and hopes to move to Edmonton. I can only imagine the culture shock it will be for him, but he seemed like a smart guy and I wish him all the best!

The drive takes 2.5 hours depending on the traffic in Accra. Accra is crazy! There are so many people, taxi's and even Abruni's. The roads are jam packed with five cars taking up what should be three lanes. At every stop light salespeople walk up to the cars trying to sell things. You can buy everything imaginable on the road, from food and drinks to bras, lint removers, spoons, shoes, bags and paintings. You basically point at the item you want and then stick the money out the window, they throw the goods at you along with your change. If someone is making a sale and the cars start moving, it's no problem, they just run beside the moving car with bowls of product on their head and complete the sale.

When we arrived in Accra we went straight to a restaurant to get a burger. The place we went to sold burgers, perfume and stuffed animals, quite the variety! It was SO good to eat meat! We ate so much that we had to go home for a nap. That was pretty much the beginning of my binge eating saga! That night Renae (founder of Global Mamas) took us all out for dinner to an Indian restaurant and we indulged on butter nan bread and coconut curry chicken. The restaurant was super clean and the food was amazing! Later that night Maria and I headed to our big party at Paul and Laura's house. Paul works for the US embassy and their house is out of this world! It has 5 rooms, a massive kitchen, living room, servant quarters and an enormous backyard. The US embassy has 'party' supplies that they loan to employees so Paul got a sound system fit for a 1000 person party and we drank, danced and talked travel. Most people started to show up after midnight and at one point there were probably 200 people there. There's quite a network of Abruni's in Accra and I guess when there's a party, word spreads fast and people just show up. 

A new volunteer, Maxine arrived from North Carolina (originally from Mississippi). She is a very strong and proud black woman with a thick southern accent. She has two sons in the military and a daughter in college. Her one son is currently in Iraq as a communications officer and her other son just arrived home from an emergency mission in Haiti. She is about 55 years old and was a Principal for many years.  On Sunday while Maria was recovering from her massive hang over, Maxine and I grabbed a tro tro and got lost. A tro tro is like a bus because you can get on and off when you need to, but the actual vehicle is extremely old and banged up. At home you would expect to see them in the junk yard. There is always a young boy that operates the door and collects the fare. Since there are so many tro's on the road you have to be careful about which one you get on. The one we got on said it was going to the circle and since the office is near a circle, we thought we were golden. Unfortunately Accra has six circle's and we ended up at the farthest one away from our destination. After walking over an hour and then jumping on a few more tro's, we made it to where we originally wanted to be and later found out that we could have walked from the house since it's only 10 minutes away!. We had lunch at Frankie's (I ate a hot dog) and then we walked back to the house and had a nap. Can you see the pattern, eat, nap, eat, nap!

Monday I worked at the Accra office. I was able to complete the script for our upcoming event and get approval on the metrics that I've been working on for over a month. The time has flown by so fast! A friend Ellen who we met in Axim, called to invite me to a dance class at the local gym so Celea (16 year old from Seattle who is going to school here and living at the Global Mama's house b/c her host family ditched her) and I joined her and it was a blast! A spunky Abruni led the class and about 15 of us did weights, an ab workout and learned dances from India, Africa, Spain and a goofy one that I'm sure is North American (step dig with jazz hands!). The gym was so hot, I'm amazed that people can even workout in there, but it was packed so I guess they don't mind. That night we went out for dinner and I had an incredible Greek Salad (just salad to the Greeks) and then you guessed it, went home to sleep.
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othermom on

I'm kinda full reading this one, but my mouth waters for the Indian food. I hope that you don't do too good of a job and they keep you. We miss you..

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