Things I love about Ghana:
1. Cold showers – I never thought I would say that if given the choice I would choose a cold shower over a hot one (not that I have that choice here). However, when it is 102 degrees and you have to walk 30 minutes to get to any class, cold showers are much appreciated and looked forward to.
2. Public transportation – of course it is nice to have your own car, but who can complain when you can get anywhere in the city for less than a dollar using the Tro-Tro system – where you cram into a big van full of people, crying babies, baskets of food, and sometimes animals, and hiss at the mate when you want to “alight” – or haggle for a taxi and then enjoy the interesting conversation which usually comes up with the driver.
3. Rice – we probably eat rice at least once if not twice a day. Whether its fried, plain, jollof, with beans, with plantains, with chicken, with tomato stew, or with the spicy shitto sauce that Ghanaians love so much, I love rice.
4. Slow internet – okay so maybe I don’t always love the unreliable internet as it makes it difficult to talk to family and friends or keep up with emails and my blog. But I will admit that it is refreshing to not dwindle my time away on Facebook or watching tv or movies online. It leaves more time for actual human interaction and other things like reading.
5. Sachet waters – drinking water out of plastic pouches is super cheap and I’ll admit that it is fun as well. A 1.5 liter bottle of water here costs 1.20 GCH (about $1). But you can buy a bag of 30 x .5 liter sachet waters for the same price as the 1 bottle of water, pretty good deal. Also, when it is over 100 degrees, you appreciate water much more.
6. Clean feet – this one may sound a little strange, but there is nothing more satisfying than getting in bed at night and seeing that your feet are clean (after a vigorous scrubbing of course). You can’t set foot outside without coming back and having your feet look like they have been painted a rusty red color (with lovely white lines from your sandals stenciled in). So when your feet are actually clean, it is a much appreciated sight.
7. Power outages – it doesn’t happen too often and the longest it has ever lasted in our hostel is only a few hours. As soon as the lights go off you can hear a collective “Aweee” from everyone in the hostel. We usually just laugh it off and then have a fun time using our flashlights.
8. Football (Soccer) – Watching football games with Ghanaians is one of the most exciting/loud things you could do here. I don’t think you could find a group of more dedicated and animated fans than those in Ghana. Watching games here is always an experience and usually includes expressive noises, chants, shouting, and lots of celebratory dancing.
9. Laundry – it is incredibly satisfying to do a load of laundry by hand and have it hang dry in the sun. Last week I washed my stuffed panda bear (he was no longer any semblance of white) and it is now a very happy and clean white again.
10. The market – yes, it smells awful sometimes, and we can’t walk two steps without people grabbing us to come to their stand or hissing at us to get our attention, but it is always an adventure. We have learned not to make eye contact, or stare at any one thing for two long or you get hassled even more. Although overwhelming, it is always fun to go to the big markets in Accra even if not to buy anything, but just for the experience.
Of course there are many other things that I love about Ghana, these are just the more ironic ones.