Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 9 - A trip to the market, religious neighbors???, and a sleepover in the a/c room

So now that we are working more in the office, hopefully I can still find enough interesting things to blog about so you don't get bored. For the past week, i have been eating a lot of pasta, cereal, and granola bars. Don't get me wrong. Those things are great. Except when you eat them every day. Local ghanaian food isn't too bad, but we don't want to spend the money to eat out nor do we want to take the time to cook a lot of food. For the past couple of nights, i have been completely sick of eating pasta. I'll admit, some nights my dinner has consisted of a granola bar with peanut butter spread on top.

Last night I told Andrew that I had had enough and all I wanted was a large pizza or a greasy bacon cheeseburger. But no avail. This morning we decided to take a stab at the local market and see what was available. One of the office staff, Cecilia, offered to go with us. (We told her that we just wanted to purchase some rice, and she said she knew the place to go). We ended up with some rice, but of course how can you stop at rice. With rice you have to have your beans. We ended up with two large bags of beans, one white and one black. After the beans, I got a craving for popcorn so we found a seller who sells popping corn. On our way out of the market, we decided to throw in some fruit and grabbed a few bananas and avocados. 

As we were talking with the lady who sold us the bananas and the avocados, she originally asked us if we wanted the american sized bananas or the regular sized bananas. It took me a moment to realize what she was asking. As shown in the picture below, these bananas are about half the size of the bananas that we are accustomed to. As I thought more about it, I realized that we Americans tend to want the best of everything, which includes fruit. When I was in South America last year, we visited several places where they grow blueberries and grapes. It shocked me to find out that even the locals can't buy some of the fruit that is produced right in their own backyard. Either all of the fruit is promised to the US or else they are left over with the seconds (i.e. smaller fruit). What is it about us Americans? I think the same holds true for us Americans and others from more developed countries. We demand the biggest and the best of everything, and the locals get what is left. I propose that we reverse that. Let the locals enjoy the fruit of the crop. After all, its them who are laboring so we can enjoy these "fruits of life." After all, how many times have you started to eat a banana and decided half way through that you didn't want to finish it? I can promise that the same doesn't hold true when you are eating one of the smaller bananas.

So our trip was a success. We ended up with some variety in our diet. Tomorrow we are trying our hand at beans and rice. As soon as we locate some butter or margarine, we are going to attempt to make homemade tortillas. Yum!!!!! All of this food, plus a bag of rolls, for only 8 GHC (approximately $5.75).

So the past couple of evenings we have been able to get to know our neighbors quite well. Just up the street from us is a building that appears to be some type of church. Normally you can hear what you would expect to hear from a church. This morning, for example, i could hear them preaching about how the Bible and Christ. Nothing strange there. But for the past couple of nights, around 7:00, something strange happens. Its almost as if the church is trying to earn a little extra income by renting out the church to some type of satanic rock band. For a couple of hours each night there is nothing but heavy, heavy metal rock music coming from the place. The words are not even understandable. It completely sounds like a satanic group. Luckily they tend to be done by 10:00 each night so that we don't have to fall asleep to that type of music.

So finally I have promised a tour and description of our building. I'll try and get that done this weekend. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the weather here is pretty hot and humid. We shower with cold water, have ceiling fans in every room, and only have a/c in one room in the house: the battery room. Barring a power outage, the house / office is usually pretty bearable until 8:00 in the morning. By that time, the heat starts up, the humidity kicks in, and you fully understand that you are in Africa. As it is essential that batteries get charged without problem, the battery room have a small a/c units so that the battery chargers don't overheat. The room is fairly small, however there is enough room for a few chairs to fit in here. During the middle of the day is the rest of the office  / house gets too unbearable, we sneak into the a/c room to cool off a bit. A week ago, Andrew had the brilliant idea to sleep in the a/c room. Originally, we pulled in a few cushions off some of the chairs. Then we managed to get one mattress in, in addition to the cushions. However, one of us always didn't get real good sleep. Tonight we managed to arrange 2 mattresses in here. Now we can sleep in comfort. As my wife will attest, I love to sleep with the temperature super cold. The only thing that we have to make sure now is that we wake up and move out before the office staff show up to start working for the day. With both mattresses in the room, neither of the doors will open that lead from the room. Jennia and Tara, sorry that you weren't able to enjoy sleeping in the a/c room. But by now you are back where a/c in standard....


katie king said...

I'm glad you decided to buy some fruit to eat :) Good luck with the rice and beans. P.S. - You two look cozy in the a/c room! We miss you!!!!