Monday, June 15, 2009

Last Day in Ghana

Today was SUCH a fun day. The kind of day that reminds me why I not only love Ghana, but I really like her as well. Today was all about shopping! The morning started with a nice breakfast at the hotel. I wasn't quite ready, so my friends walked up to Eban House to collect the kids (including Kendi). When I was done getting ready I began to walk to meet them. But they were already coming back as well. When we met in the middle I did a goofy dance to make my friend's 9 year old daughter smile. This taxi stopped at about that time to ask if we needed a ride. Well, yes! Later in the day we learned that the taxi stopped because "What is dis white woman doing dancing?" He saw me dancing goofy...and I guess that intrigued him! LOL!

I negotiated the fare to the Art Centre (10 cedis). Nat was a really cool driver. Not too talkative, but not too quiet either. His car was decent (decent is good here). And he was good with the kids. When we asked, Nat said he could stay with us (or any family) for a rate of 10 cedis an hour. By the time we got to the Art Centre we decided we sort of liked Nat, so we asked him to come with us as guide.

We were at the Art Center for TWO HOURS! That may not sound like a long time, but it is a long time to be in the chaos of the art centre! It is rows and rows of people selling the same thing over and over again. And everybody wants you to buy at least some small item from them. We didn't go straight into that madness though. As soon as we drove up one of the Rasta guys recognized me. We were in from there! Kwami and Mr. Slo were both there, but my main squeeze Mr. Eric wasn't around. Nevertheless we headed straight for "No Food For Lazy Man" drum shop. My guys never let me down. They set up the stools for us all to sit down, got their drums, and started playing.. It never gets old!!!! After their mini concert they gave each of us a drum and did a bit of a lesson, with simple progressing to more difficult rhythms. Very fun. We all celebrated the memory by purchasing a drum. These guys do not make tourist drums that you see for 25 around Osu. They make professional quality tribal drums. So expect to pay 40 for a small drum (18-24 inches) and between 60-100 for medium sized drum. They are very fine drums. Okay...enough of my advertisment. Just go see my peeps at No Food For Lazy Man, okay?!

After the drum playing we headed into the crazy market stalls. It's really a blur from that point until we left, because most of the stalls sell the same things and everybody wants you to buy at least one item. You forget what you've purchased, and how much you've spent, and who you've bought it from. For me, I like bartering. I like the game. So I like visiting the art center. After a while though, I've had enough smiling and bartering, and I'm afraid I'll spend all my money if I don't get out of there!!!

Led by our trusting taxi driver Nat, we headed to Osu area for some lunch. Frankie's pizza on my last day in Ghana--I like that tradition! I haven't mentioned Kendi up to this point because she slept in my arms for pretty much the entire time we were at the art market. At Frankie's, in the cool air, she woke up cheerfully.

Kendi ate some fish, and thought mommy's pizza was good, for about 1/2 a slice. When she's done, she's done. She doesn't seem to be much of a big eater for me yet. After a nice meal we all headed down to the taxi to head to the other end of Osu--our last stop. It smelled SO BAD outside of Frankie's! Yuck! Then I realized that smell was my daughter's blow out diarreah diaper all over her and myself. Fun. I took my hand wipes and her last diaper and off we went to Frankie's to change it....on the bathroom counter. No changing stations in Ghana! =-) We came out smelling a little less gross (but not much).

The next stop was easily my favorite of the day. Global Mamas!!!!! AH!!!! If you go to Ghana you have to go to this place! It is just behind Koala Market, to the right. It was lovely to walk into an air conditioned, organized, uncrowded place after a morning at the art centre. Not only that, but I think I could have purchased most of the items in that store!!! I found the coolest sling to use with Kendi, and also got her a super cute layered batik dress. They have these neat bags in there, made of sachet water and fan yogo wrappers. Christmas ornaments....candle holders....aprons and pot holders and clothes and soaps, and any number of other awesome things. The prices are set, which a lot of Americans would like. They are also good prices, if you compare it to a similar store in America. Some of the girls' dresses were 25 cedis, but they were so well made--it was easy to see they would hold up better than some of the clothes purchased out in the streets.

After Global Mamas it was time to head back to Teshie. I don't think I mentioned to this point, but it rained on us pretty much all day. Not the strong torrential showers I've seen in the past in Ghana, but a stead light rain. It actually felt wonderful. We were all pretty wet, but let's get real here. In Ghana you're either wet with rain or wet with sweat. Rain was nice. =-)

It was a very special day to share with Kendi. I went back and forth abut taking her, becuase I wondered how it would be to carry her the whole time we were shopping. In reality, there was always someone there to help if I needed to hand her over for a moment. She was happy as a clam during the car rides. She gave me lots of kisses. And she smiled knowingly when I whispered, "Me dowo" to her. "I love you."

I leave very early tomorrow morning and should be sleeping even now. The sweet ones I'm escorting are snuggled into the bed next to me with their jackets and blanket on--not used to the air conditioning. They have been fantastic tonight and I feel confident that the trip home will go well. I KNOW it will end well--with two kiddos being united with their family.



Jen 10:36 PM  

What a great shopping day! I will definitely send TR to the drum place and have the boys all play. Do we just mention your name and get special treatment? I wanted a drum for Godfred so that is perfect!
The rain sounded great! I loved it when it rained although not hard enough to get on the floor of the cars I traveled in. Just a light rain like you mentioned...
Again, so sad I missed Global Mamas...
I also kind of enjoyed the bartering at the Art Center. I only got annoyed when I bought something and then found something I liked better and wished I would have seen it first.
A decent car is one that does not break down or runs over a foot as you push it down the road. Eric got his foot squashed on the way to the Art Center when we went. I still feel bad it was my favorite driver that did it...
I have enjoyed these posts and all your details. I actually day dreamed about being in my room at Rye this morning.. what great memories...

Salzwedel Family 10:47 PM  

I love hearing about Ghana! I watched a show on the travel channel today that was about Ghana and I reveled in every moment of it. I can't wait to experience it for myself.

Laurel 12:49 AM  

Love the memories ... of a wonderful place.