Friday, September 25, 2009

A Day in the Life

I’ve received a few questions about the logistics of living in Ghana, so I figured I’d write about everyday activities for you guys! Enjoy!

Bucket Bathing- Even though I have “running water,” I sometimes have to fetch a bucket of water to bathe with when the water runs out.

Laundry- All is done by hand. I did search out a Laundromat in Hohoe, but no luck. At first I was killing my hand by how vigorously I washed my clothes, but I’ve since learned that you have to go slow and soft, because it’s easy to cut up your hands. You have to start with your whites and move through the darker clothes. Last you wash any items made here, like the batiks and tie/dyes. Those tend to bleed the most. Then you hang the laundry out to dry, but since it’s still rainy season right now, I usually end up having to take them inside after a few hours. Oh and you always have to wash your own underwear (or called pants here), even the men. It’s insulting to have someone else wash your own pants.

Food- Cooking is quite a time-filler, since I have to make everything from scratch. So far, I’ve had bean burgers, yam fries, pancakes, biscuits, spaghetti, pasta alfredo, stir fry, and yam balls. I also like to make tuna sandwiches and grilled cheeses. There is a cheese-like substance here called Laughing Cow, which can be tasty. So I’m not dying for cheese anymore!

Shopping- There are a few stores in my town, and several spots. There, I can usually find items like flour, soap, phone units, coke, sugar bread, tomatoes, and onions. For anything else, I have to go to Hohoe for market. Usually, on any given day at market, you can find a stand dedicated to just about anything. Then on market days, you can find everything, and then some! Instead of one stand, you can go to about 25 stands just for tomatoes, for example. Because of the season, vegetables are plentiful at market, but we’ll see how that changes once the harmatten (dry season) begins. (When Ghanaians say “Harmatten,” it kinda sounds like they’re saying “Hammer time,” so we all call it Hammer Time.) For fruit, if I don’t just go pick it off a tree myself, I can find it being sold along the street. Just the other day, I bought a few oranges for maybe 10p. And sometimes I get bananas, avocados, and yams from my neighbors, which is nice. For clothes, you can easily find fabric being sold at market or shops along the street. Then you take it to a dressmaker to make whatever she determines you asked for. Right now I’m having a dress made, so we’ll see how it turns out. And sometimes you can find “Dead Obruni” stands, which sell Western clothes. The reasoning behind “Dead Obruni” is that someone would have to be dead to get rid of such nice clothes. A little morbid, but funny.

Entertainment- I’ve been doing things like I did back home, I guess. Reading, painting, listening to tunes, riding my bike, hanging out with friends, sleeping. The television here is plagued with advertisements, even more so than American TV, so I avoid it at all costs. I’ve discovered Arrested Development, which is hilarious. Everyone should Netflix it, if you’ve never seen it.

So, I’ve basically just been settling in this past month, and getting used to a new way of life. It’s starting to get a bit more stressful, but the difference is now I’m in my own space, so I have a haven to retreat to.

Feel free to post any new questions about life in Ghana!


Theresa Mattiello said...

Katie this was so much fun reading! I giggled out loud when I read that you watch "Arrested Development" over there! It's not True Blood, but its something right? And the Dead Obruni thing is hilarious. Sounds like you've really fit into the culture and it makes me even more eager to come visit. Do you have your own house? :)
Miss you so much...
BTW: We played the Hawaiian/Mele CD the other day at work in your honor. And I'm transferring to Deep River Starbucks! Yay no more mall!
Love you so much and miss you and glad you are fitting in well!

Renee said...

Yaaay!! It sounds like you're having a great time!! Word on the street among PCVs is that Ghana is an awesome country :-) I would love to take an overland trip to Ghana... but must wait til cold season. Right now, I'm just concentrating on not sweating myself to death!! Try to make it to Dakar for WAIST in Feb, it would be great to see you!!! Thinking about you!