12 FEB 12
Many things have happened since leaving Accra Friday morning. We met at Legon at 7am but didn’t leave until around 8am. The drive was extremley bumpy for about 70 percent of the trip. At times it was so loud that conversations were useless. We rode in a bus though, instead of a tro-tro, which made the trip smoother. About an hour into the trip we stopped to get some snacks (turkey tail and yam fries). Right when we stopped a bunch of hot water came spraying out onto the front seats and on Liz and Aleah. Apparently the radiator overheated so we chilled while our driver put more “Voltic” water in the radiator.
We continued on our way and Anna french braided my hair and Jesse read aloud to us from Elle magazine. I tried to read for a bit, but girls are so chatty! It was also impossible to sleep because even when we drove on the concrete, there were speed bumps every 5 min. We arrived to Kumasi at Lizzies Hotel where Anna and I shared a room.
It was so nice to live with everyone again, now that we’re all closer. Then all 19 of us jumped into a tro-tro and went to Candy’s Resturant where we ate lunch and dinner. Then lunch again the next day. The food was great and we all ate till we were stuffed.
Then back at the hotel we had time to relax so some girls and I went into one room and layed on the bed watching a really old/bad Meryl Streep movie while Sierra was reading from the Bible. I eventually fell asleep and woke up to the girls laughing b/c apparently I was drooling…hah. But then we all got ready for dinner and a night on the “town.” At dinner no one was hungry but somehow I managed to eat more than I probably should have. Afterwards we walked to Kwame’s home and met his mother who is sososo sweet. Then we all took a tro-tro to watch live Hi Life music at an outside venue. The few people that were there were only sitting and drinking. Eventually our group got up and began to get our groove on. I don’t have any photos from that night because I didn’t want to worry about my camera..and I wanted to dance without any restraints or worries! It was such GREAT fun. Most of us have been dying to dance all together, and we kept trying to get a group together in Accra, but with everyone so spread out it never happened. But we definitely took advantage of the one Friday night we were all together. Only two girls went home early because they weren’t feeling well. After dancing at Hi Life for about a couple hours some of us wanted to go to a club, since Kwame’s cousin is a DJ there, DJ Amazing hahah. So, we went to the club which was about the size of a large living room, but no one was there because it was only 11 and people don’t begin arriving around 12.30 or 1. We danced for a bit, but soon everyone was so tired. I talked with “Ice Tee” who works with SIT in Kumasi, about how late 1am is to start dancing. He said that’s normal, and that tomorrow he’ll probably wake up around 4 or 4.30. Ghanaians DON’T sleep! I have not a clue how they survive. I feel like getting 7 hrs of sleep is way to lazy and selfish now. I’m trying to train myself to stay up until at least 9.30 or 10, since I’ve been going to bed around 8.30. The next day (Sat) we went around to where our classes will be held. Then later that day we went to our homestays. I took a half an hour nap and woke up to no one in the house. I wandered around and it’s a very nice place. I have my own bathroom, with running water and there’s a nice living room with a TV and a porch outside with a table where I can do homework and/or eat. Zenabu, the house help girl (who’s Muslim and from the North) prepared my dinner and I sat at the dinner table alone. It was fine, just didn’t know where anyone was…later I found out that Papa is a Nana (chief), which makes more sense now that he is a larger man. And I have three brothers; David, Bonny and Kwame. It’s interesting to go from having one 8 year old host sister to three tall/older brothers.
After dinner I went outside to watch Zena pound fufu, I picked up the big stick she was using and it was heavy! The all laughed at me, in good humor. It was entrancing to watch, because there’s a beautiful natural rhythm to pounding fufu. I asked my brother, David, if we could walk around the neighborhood. So he took me around and we walked by a plantain garden/farm and around until we ended up at the King’s palace. He is the King of the Ashanti region, passed down through the family line. We went onto the premise and walked over to a group of women and children. So many children! my host brother asked if we could visit the Queen Mother who lives in a smaller home next to the palace. A little boy showed us into the room, which wasen’t as “elite” as I expected. I didn’t realize I had to take off my shoes, so I was standing there with my Chacos on while David introduced us and I spoke to the Queen Mother in the little Twi that I know. She was an older woman who was almost completley blind. There were two other younger women in the room, keeping her company. They invited me to come back and take photos of the palace anytime I wanted (since I forgot my camera). That was a pretty cool experience that I’m sure no else has done yet. I felt really good after talking to her because I feel like I stated my prescence in her region as a visitor, and she accepted me. That night I went to bed at 8.30, getting some of my homework done.
The next day (Sunday) I went to church with Mama Beatrice. The husband and three sons didn’t go though. Service lasted 5 hours. I held it together (by the grace of God) somehow. Thankfully it wasn’t too hot and that I didn’t get very hungry. Back at home I had pasta with hard boiled egg and some kind of meat (dark and chewy?). I didn’t eat very much, but was full. Then I visited Jesse who lives with Kwame, and Ethan was over, so we all hung out. But for most of the time I was on the couch with Kwame’s friends’ daughter (around 2 yrs) who fell asleep on me. I was able to carry her on my back the traditional Ghanaian way, with a cloth (see photos). Then I turned her around on my hip and sat down to play with her, then she just passed out. I thought I was going to die, it was so adorable, and I was so content. I miss Casey! Then I went home for dinner which was rice with a sauce on top, more mystery meat and sliced avocado.
Kumasi has been great! And our first paper is due on Wednesday, so gotta start working on that!