Let's see. . . it's September 1st and our first full day in Kumasi. We arrived yesterday and Joe, a friend of Katie's that she made on her previous visit, helped us get out of the bus station with all of our luggage. We have a ton of shit. It's pretty ridiculous. Anyway, we got our stuff back to the Steven Paris Hostel (and I have come to find out that the term "hostel" in Ghana is more along the lines of a US dormitory than anything else. . . ) and were promptly taken back out again to Joe's house. His mother fed us, we watched Kotoko beat El Merrikh (from Sudan) and were given a tour of the neighborhood. For the most part, Katie knew her way around since she had been here before, but it's always nice to have someone else hold your hand.
The next day we woke up and Joe escorted us to the largest open market in West Africa. In the picture in the link, all you see is tin roofs, but underneath those roofs are any and everything you can possibly imagine buying anywhere. Shoes, sandals, dresses, goat heads (click the link, don't worry, it's not a goat's head). . . and most of the items are made right there. Katie bought some cloth for a dress; not much, but we mostly went to see that I wouldn't die of excitement. It's like Akihabara in Japan, but not much light, mostly people. Right now we're stealing internet access in the hostel, and will be doing so until Saturday, when we hire a car to get to Bolgatanga.
Katie's washing the clothes right now, so when she's done with that I'm sure she'll have something to say. . . now she's cooking me dinner. . . now she's rubbing my feet. . . she forgot she has to wash the dishes as well. . . okay here she is. OH WAIT! Before I go, I have to let you know something. As most of you already know, I'm a pretty good looking individual. Well, it seems that the fine folks in Ghana feel the same way. Before we left for the market this morning, one of the hostel porters called me over to the desk because my beauty compelled him to do so. He said to me, "Sir, I must say, you are very handsome. There have been other obruni who have come here, and other Americans as well, but you are very, very handsome [emphasis his, links mine]." It's funny because I was getting the feeling that people in Ghana didn't like me, but when I asked Joe, he told me its was a) because I had large earring, and earrings aren't common at all for men in Ghana, and b) because I was "pleasing to look at." So there you have it, when Katie leaves me I will come to Ghana so people can look at me.
Now it's my turn I guess. Mo forgot to say some of the other things we purchased at the market. Well first, yesterday I had my first taste of Kenkey in 3 years....oh how I love it! It was our first real chop-shop experience. A tin shack that inside has benches and several buckets of water for hand washing. While I'm pretty sure the palm nut soup was cooked with meat in it (not much we can do about that) we at least did not have to eat any whole pieces. We also took (in Ghana it is "took" not eat) the kenkey with the spicy peppers and tomatoes...that is my favorite way. So back to the market...we also purchased two dvds for Faustina...but these are not any ordinary dvd...oh no. One has 12 brad pit movies on it and the other is 12 action hero movies on one vcd. Ok...so the quality is not exactly "high-def", in fact it is pretty grainy, but they were only 2.50 each! We also had coconut juice from the coconut (see pics above).
One other thing, again the pictures are above, before we left Accra we traveled with Andrea (another Fulbrighter, the one in the picture) to the bead making village she will be living in (Krobo). We met with a bead maker, Emanuel (I believe) and saw how the beads are made. It's so crazy. So those of you who have seen the beads I brought back last time, they are made from crushed glass powder, that is why they are opaque. He was making some from larger pieces of glass from a blue champaign bottle, and so the new beads I purchased are clear. It was so crazy. That large mud object is his kiln.