Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Picture Necessary

Little by little I have been realizing my life has changed. I do things and wonder about things that I wouldn't do or wonder about while living in Pennsylvania. I hope to "enlighten" you about some of those things.
~About two months ago, a roll of toilet paper fell into the toilet. It was a new roll & the toilet water was clean, so I let it dry and then I used it!
~When traveling, rest stops are few & far between. Oh, and there are usually no "facilities." I have peed behind bushes, out in the open along side of the road, in between buses in a parking lot, behind a building, and a few other places I'd rather not think about!
~There is no place for toilet paper when you stop at the above mentioned rest stops.
~When I buy meat, it is in small hunks. So, when I bring it home, I look them over & bag them to freeze. And I this tongue? What is this? Hmmm...I don't want to know. Some pieces never get eaten. They get frozen only to be burned in the rubbish! (Like the chicken head & feet.)
~I have left my luggage at "the bus station" while going shopping. Nothing was stolen!
~I have accepted rides from people I had just met.
~When I see something black on the floor I wonder if it is or ever had been alive. Or maybe it is left behind by something that was alive. Or maybe it is just dirt.
~Last night, I wanted to cook rice for dinner. The rice was teeming with ants. So, I rinsed it about six times & then cooked it. Yum!
~Every time the power goes out, I can hear my mother telling me not to refreeze meat. I have no control over these things. Prayer before meals and thanking God for food eaten is very important!
~After being away from Lawra for almost 2 weeks, I have been told that my skin is very white and that I have "grown fat." I guess I better put walking into my schedule when I return to Accra.
~While washing clothes by hand, I have noticed how quickly the rinse water becomes dirty. Do you ever wonder about the rinse water in your washing machine? Look at you want to wear clothes that have been in that?
~Ghanaian dresses don't have pockets. So, when traveling or even just walking around, the best place to put a cell phone or money is in your bra.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On the Road

This past month I have done a lot of traveling. I have come to the realization that I am way too American when it comes to travel. I want to know the answers to all the questions: When? How? with Whom? Where? How much? How long? Will there be a bathroom stop? All those important kinds of things. Well, here is what I have learned:
  • If your bus of choice is full, take a tro tro.
  • When wanting a specific Metro bus, be at the station by 4 AM, no matter what time the bus is scheduled to leave.
  • It is acceptable to show up at a friend's house at 3:30 AM to spend "the rest of the night."
  • Shopping at road side stands can be done along the way
  • My idea of a bathroom stop is quite different than reality, but, when in Ghana, do as the Ghanaians do!
  • There are no pockets in typical Ghanaian women's clothing. Your cell phone can tucked into your bra.
  • On a Metro bus, there is no such thing as a center isle. It fills up quickly with everything!
  • When traveling through the night on an OA bus, try not to get a seat directly below the speaker.
  • Most people are quite friendly and very helpful.