We spent much of our first weekend in Ghana simply trying to figure out the transit system. I have noticed that I spend more time in transit than I do doing anything else. At least I get to see quiet a bit of the city this way!
Saturday we had a nice quiet morning, sitting on the porch discussing work place relationships and etiquette with Akua. I find that when you are not in direct sunlight the slight, ever present breeze can cool you off enough to be comfortable and I try to seek refuge in the shade as often as possible.
When Akua had left the girls and I managed to make it to Circle on the Tro only having to be corrected once. We had to wait for Nana when we got there so we decided to wander into the market area to try to find something to drink. The stalls were literally 2 feet apart leaving only enough room to walk single file. People were dozing in their stalls and children called out to us as we walked past. When we stopped to get a drink 8 or 9 little kids came out of nowhere and stood watching us. We waved, of course, and complimented their dresses and clothes and asked their names. Mostly we were met with blank stares or little smiles but occasionally a little scream of joy would erupt from one and he/she would run away laughing. A woman selling wares in her stall decided Jessica was to marry her son, proclaiming “I am going to be your mother in law!” and another confidently told me she could do my hair (despite the length). I did tell her that I hope to go back and get my hair done soon as it is getting unruly with the humidity and I can barely run my hands through it.
When we found Nana we made our way down the street to try to find Champs, the local Canadian sports bar. We were hopeless chasing our other friend down when the wind began to pick up and before we knew it the sky had been blotted out and everything was just a eerie shade of sand brown. The wind picked up and the sand hit us in face and got in our eyes while we tried to hail a cab (along with the other 5000 people also on that street during the storm). We had no sooner gotten a cab when the rain started.
This was not normal rain. Not even for Nova Scotia standards.
This was buckets and buckets of water being thrown from the sky.
We had taken shelter in a little restaurant called the Bus Stop until the rain stopped when we discovered that Champs was actually closed, and would not be re-opening until June so we had to turn around and go home anyways. Adventures and experiences and all that.
When we got home I walked into my room to an inch of water on the floor. I was so sure that I had closed my windows but Ken (the grounds keeper) explained that the wind gets so strong that it will force the rain through the cracks around the windows, or through the gaps between panes. Luckily nothing was damaged and Ken helped us mop up the water and clean up the leaves that had blown in. We had no power for 24 hours after the storm, but it turns out we have a generator under the stairs (spoiled right?) so we most likely than not will not lose power for very long again during this trip.
Although Sunday was supposed to be a ‘rest day’ before we start work on Monday we decided we couldn’t simply sit in the house all day so after reading for a few hours on the porch the girls and I packed up our stuff and heading to Oxford street.
Oxford Street is the big tourist street in Ghana it is your best bet to get anything Western and to find all the gifts and souvenirs you could ever need. Any Obruni who sets foot on the street is immediately swarmed with people trying to sell you things; lovely paintings, necklaces, handmade bracelets, purses, belts, and sunglasses. It is an interesting feeling. It can be very fun at first but can become overwhelming quickly if you seem to be interested in making a purchase. The more interest you show the more and more people appear to show you their product. Until you can be completely surrounded by them and practically unable to find your friends among the masses. However I bought a lovely painting of the struggling mother and got a few things for some of you folks at home.
We met Nana and she brought us to her home to meet her family, and a more lovely family I have yet to meet. There seemed to be endless numbers of them, and each was an absolute joy to meet. They were so friendly and so welcoming! We then whisked Nana away and went for dinner at the mall, did a bit of shopping and then took a taxi home before it got dark.
Although we spent most of the weekend on the tros or in taxis we still managed to have a blast. We all start work tomorrow morning and have been running about trying to pick out clothes to wear to our first day at the office. I have to leave the house by 630 just to get to work on time, so I have a big day ahead of me but I greatly look forward to meeting my coworkers and finally finding out just what I will be spending my summer doing.
I’ll keep you posted!