It’s Friday, and our last day in Kumasi before we go north to Bolgatanga (which, by the way, is probably akin to Texas, since every time we say that we will be heading there people look at us as if to ask “what the hell for,” but I digress) and Katie and I want to take advantage of the readily available internet – which hasn’t been as readily available as we first thought. Hmm, I’m looking back at that first sentence and I can’t help but think that it’s a long sentence, but certainly not Proustian. Okay, on Wednesday we went with Joe (the smiling man in the pictures) who just recently bought a plot of land so that he could be a farmer. Everyday but Tuesday he goes to supervise the men he hired to weed the plot. When we arrived, he told us this, but it was like nothing I could have imagined. First off, these weeds are tropical weeds, meaning that they can be found in the tropical regions of Earth as well as a few places on Venus; needless to say, they are very, very hearty. So what does one bring to a weeding party in Ghana? For those of you who think a regular weed-wacker will do, slap yourself. Upon our arrival, one of the men asked if I had brought my cutlass (no, not like this. . . like this. . . for those who thought the former, slap yourself). I said no. They laughed. A lot. Then they began to work. Like pirates (cutlass. . . come on , that’s a super-pirate word) they swash-buckled (yes it is a verb because I just made it a verb) their way through the 5ft. tropical weeds and brush, and came out with booty consisting of crabs, snails, and corn Yum. While they were fighting the good fight, like Soho children in the wilderness, Katie and I began snapping photos of the local fauna (in the pictures). It was a pretty exciting way to end a trip that began with Joe leading us around the swamp so that we may see the vast swath of land will soon become his farm. Good times.
Ok…so I feel I need to say more about this fauna Mo talks about. First, thankfully, Joe hooked us up with a pair of mid-shin high wading boots, which were priceless for the adventure (meanwhile, most of the men weeding were in sandals. . . but they are way more hardcore than me…just wait!). So we went sloshing around the farm with Joe only to see a different type of spider with every step. When we settled in to watch the men weed, Mo and I couldn’t help but stare at the ground that was alive with movement. Think of a bug. . . go ahead. . . yup. . . we saw it! We saw an ant that was an inch long killing a worm (!), centipedes, millipedes, spiders, spiders, spiders, beetles, and more ants. The spiders were quite cute in how if you stood still for too long they would climb up your leg and start spinning webs attached to you. But the best were the crabs! As the men were weeding Mo and I spot a hole in the ground and ask “snake?”. . . snakes. . . Ha! Try crabs. Joe of course told us that we were free to stick our hands down the hold to catch them. Respectfully, we declined and let the experts have a try. [Let me say that it was at this point that everyone put down their cutlasses and mocked us by fishing out more than half a dozen of them while laughing and weeding with their feet. It is my understanding that crabbing, in this instance, resembles noodling in North America. Fun. – Mo.] These men would shove their arms down hole about 6 inches across up to their shoulders and come up with a crab (and sometimes two). Yea. . . needless to say I did not try that one. I was more concerned with the hole in the knee of my pants and all the bugs trying to make a new home out of it. All in all it was pretty amazing. Lesson learned: farming in Kumasi is nothing less than taming a plot of the jungle.