I was going to title this post ‘My life in Ghana’ but then I remembered that my day to day life is actually not very exciting so we’ll go with this instead. Side note: It’s my birthday month and I’m looking forward to turning 30. It feels like it’ll be the beginning of something new and exciting. We’ll just have to wait to find out 😊
So, what I love about being in Ghana (in no particular order):
- Custom-made clothes from African wax print – from casual to formal. I really can’t get enough of these.
- Tropical fruits – pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, coconut, avocado, soursop/custard apple (according to Wikipedia, the flavor is this fruit has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy texture reminiscent of coconut or banana. All those sound good to me!)
- The food – Waakye, Jollof rice, Plantain (in all its permutations, but especially as kelewele which is fried plantain with spices (I can eat this goodness all day everyday)), Fufu (with goat meat light soup), Banku (with tilapia or okra stew), kenkey … this list is endless
- The music
- Being able to haggle in the markets to get the best deal on items and being called ‘ahuofƐ’ (beauty) and ‘ohemaa’ (queen) as a way to entice you into buying their goods (a little flattery certainly goes a long way, in my books at least)
- Discovering new Made in Ghana products – from jewelry to purses to skin care products
- Beach resorts for weekend getaways (but let’s be honest, I’ve yet to take advantage of these but it’s comforting knowing that it’s possible and only a few hours away)
- Beads – especially when they’re made into a variety of accessories (body jewelry, purses, sandals, the list is endless)
- I can wear sandals/flip flops/open-toe shoes all year long (although that means I can’t miss a pedicure appointment)
- Getting my hair done for waaaay cheaper which means I can switch hairstyles more often. What’s not to love?
With all the things, I love about being home, there are a few things that are not so fun:
- Internet access – I miss being able to stream movies and tv shows all day every day for a fixed amount of money per month. Here in Ghana, internet access (fixed broadband) comes in different packages. You select a package i.e. a certain number of gigabytes for a certain amount which should technically last a month and when you’ve used up all your data, you lose your internet access. The longest I’ve gotten it to last has been 3 weeks and the shortest 10 days. And I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing the same things since I got home *side eye*
- Not being able to go out (especially at night) – I mean this is not anyone’s fault really. But my family doesn’t own a car (and the thought of driving here terrifies me) so unless I’m getting a ride from a friend, you’ll find me with either a good book or movie plus a glass of wine or a cup of tea (depending on my mood) on a weekend night. There’s Uber but it’s not nearly as efficient or convenient as it is in the US for instance. But baby steps
- The heat and humidity – I’ve either lost all the resistance I ever had to living in this climate or global warming is really making a mess of things (probably a combination of both). It’s supposed to be good for my hair and skin (so I’ve been told) so it may not be that bad after all.
What I miss the most about Portland/the U.S. (besides my friends, of course):
- Being able to walk places – I could walk almost everywhere I needed to get to (the grocery store, bank, library, mall to name a few) and if it was too far to walk there was always public transportation which was mostly reliable and convenient and Uber & Lyft
- Barnes & Noble & Powell’s bookstore and the library – I am obsessed with books and bookstores and libraries and I really miss being able to spend hours in the bookstore and checking out books from the library (because the funds to buy them are limited)