Monday, November 13, 2006

Tofu, a minority again?, No turtles, the harmattan, the police

Thursday night, we went out to a vegan restaurant near circle. It was delicious; primarily because of the lack of oil and fried food. I had tofu kebabs on a pita (essentially pieces of tofu with seasoning on brown bread) and half of a garden salad, with real vegetables and three different kinds of peppers. It was like heaven. And I am not even vegan. Haha. A creepy man painted from head to toe to look like a white person wearing a t-shirt which said “telecom phones Osu and Adenta,” came up to us and stood at our table and stared. It was awkward and slightly frightening. Afterwards we went to Champ’s, this American owned sports bar, for quiz night. It was an interesting experience…I walked in…I was the only black person other than the employees. I felt like I was back in the states. The menu at champs even had Mexican food and buffalo wings. It was a strange sensation. The place is a popular hang out for the marines that protect the embassy, the people who work at the embassies, and volunteers and NGO employees. I could see how if you went there every night you could easily forget you were in Ghana. We also went Friday night, for a friend’s birthday celebration. It was karaoke night and Laura and I sang “Wannabe” by Spice Girls haha. It was really fun; there were some talented people and some good sing-alongs. Saturday morning (after two hours of sleep) we headed to Ada, where the Volta meets the Ocean. We took a tro-tro to Ada Foah, then we took an hour long boat ride down the river to the estuary. We got to the hotel, or camp or whatever you want to call it, at around 12. We sat around for a bit, lazed on the hammock, walked the beach. That night we ordered dinner and enjoyed a “cultural night” which was clearly just for the obrunis entertainment. Then we attempted to find some sea turtles, but it was too cloudy for the moonlight so there weren’t any. There were some NYU kids there who told us a little about their program: they live in a compound with a/c, hot water, cooks etc. and take only a few classes at the university. Sometimes I worry about the kids in the programs and whether or not they are having the best experiences while they are here (not to mention, in Senegal I am in a program and I hope that it isn't so sheltered as most of the programs here are...)
The next morning we got up had pancakes that were fluffy ( I swear they were made with bisquick) and Laura and I headed to Togo. We got to Togo at 2ish, found a restaurant that served couscous and spaghetti, which was delicious. Then we rode motos (they are so sweet!) to the crossainterie where we had pain au chocolat. Then we took motos back to the border, crossed and got our stamp and jumped on a tro tro by 5. unfortunately, traveling by tro-tro at night is not the best idea. There are a ton of police check points on the way. We stopped at at least five, two of which we had to disembark the tro-tro. Its annoying…the police are essentially just looking for some way to tax the drivers and get some money. But at the same time I feel bad for the police…I learned that they make less than $100 a month, get a 200 cedi (about 2 cents) budget for uniform, and they work ridiculous hours. Its corruption, unjustifiable, but it’s a shame that they have to resort to it in the first place.

It is getting hot hot hot. And the days are no longer beautiful, as the Harmattan has settled in to stay until January. The Harmattan is a wind that brings sand from the Sahara every November. It makes the days extremely hazy and sometimes even blots out the sun and the moon. The sky is now a nice tan color, instead of blue, and I have heard rumors that it gets so bad that you can’t breathe.

1 comment:

Anna said...

J'aime vraiment lire de vos aventures au Ghana. Merci tellement!