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Mark Ahrens

Staying Flexible

Blackboard in a classroom

May 27, 2013

We were behind all day today. We were supposed to get up at 8:30 for breakfast at nine. At 9:30, there was a knock at the door, as we had slept that late. Apparently travel, the beach and warm weather can wear you out. After breakfast, we were going to go on a tour, however issues with the van caused us to not take off until 11:30. We were reminded a few times, schedules are very flexible when in Ghana. We headed to Winneba and went downtown, seeing the market in full swing. It was one of the most hectic things I have ever seen, well until later today.

After seeing the market, we headed to the school where we will be painting this week. We got to see the task, and it is not a small one. There are a number of rooms that have no paint on them at all, so we will be painting the concrete walls, as well as the outside of the building. A few kids came by, interested in what we were doing. That happens a lot here, we seem to draw stares and curiosity wherever we go.

Main road in Swedru

Main road in Swedru

After the school, we went to exchange money in Swedru. We drove through the busy town, we pulled into a driveway next to a bank. But we didn’t go there to change the money, instead we drove around back and parked, heading up some stairs to a small exchange on the second floor. It worked fine, getting a handful of 5 cedi bills from the dollars I exchanged. We then went to the van to head to the market, but instead found it wouldn’t start. It seemed the thinking went, give the van some time and it will start later, so we walked to the market instead.

We walked up a couple of blocks and through a parking lot until we headed into the first entrance we could find to the market. Immediately, we were in a different world. small booths, roofed with corrugated steel, narrow walkways between them, and pretty much anything you wanted to buy available. I am still not exactly sure why we settled on the vendor we did for our fabric, but she had a variety to choose from and each of us found something to have clothes tailored with. I also found a couple of yards for Rebekah. After that, we headed to the van, only to have it not start again. While Agyeman headed off to find someone to help jump the van, we found a vendor selling ice cream, so we each enjoyed that. After the van did get jumped, we headed back to the hotel for at late lunch.

For lunch, we had fufu, a local dish consisting of a dough made of vegetables served in a tomato based soup with some goat meat. The goat meat wasn’t quite what everyone expected, as it was a bit fatty on the outside, but overall it was pretty tasty. The fufu is meant to be picked up with your fingers and swallowed whole as it doesn’t taste great on its own. It is mainly a filler for the rest of the soup. I ate most of it, only not finishing it because I had been distracted by a soccer match and it started to get cold.

After our lunch, we headed to the seamstress who is going to make our clothes. We each got measured, picked out the style of shirts/dresses we wanted. then, Since we ate such a late lunch, we are doing a fruit buffet for dinner, which was picked up by our guide when we were getting tailored. Now assuming we get the water working in our room, it will have been a pretty good day.