Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where's the Stovetop???

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! In honor of the holidays I ran amock around my property with a butcher knife until I caught one of the turkeys that roam the grounds. After I beheaded and de-feathered him, I cooked up a feast with yams, carrots, and onions, with apple pie to boot. Okay, actually I just ate beans and plantains, and I couldn't even find Stovetop. Such is life in Ghana.

Can't say that I have much to report, it's been two weeks of failed plans and days blurring into one another. But I have an action-packed weekend coming up (assuming that plans actually work out) and I might even be able to put up pictures in my next post (a replacement camera is possibly en route).

Music: I performed in a parade, the first since high school marching band (thank god we didn't have to wear the stupid marching uniforms). There were about 10 of us going round the neighborhood at maybe 7pm, drumming, singing, and causing havoc. It was great. Later that night we played Weka and Kpanlogo, both popular traditional dances. The night also stood out because I also took apateshie for the first time, a mix of gin and traditional herbs. It burns like whiskey, but I did enjoy the "earthy" flavor of the herbs.

At the university campus I saw a performance of Brazilian samba. Well, sort of. The singer/guitarist was an exchange student from Brazil and the rest of the musicians were Ghanaians, so it was a weird fusion of samba and highlife (afropop). Halfway through the performance the mounted lights illuminating the stage fell over. Oops.

Other: I took a trip up to the Eastern region and though it didn't quite work out as planned, I found a trailhead into the "sacred and everlasting Dodowa forest" (said the sign nearby). The only person around was an old lady sleeping on a bench, so I went right in. I found this amazing clearing with two HUGE bamboo trees and a small stream. It could have been a set right out of Jurassic Park or some African movie set in the jungle...unbelievable. I relaxed under cover of the forest canopy for about 30 minutes before I saw a man in approaching in the distance. We met eye to eye, and I had this weird vision that he was going to signal to his friends who would emerge from hiding in the bush all around me, with painted faces and blowguns with poison darts, and I would be tied up and carried to the chief. That's what Hollywood movies and do to your mind. What actually happened was he left, and I was alone again. When I exited the jungle, the old lady was awake and started yelling at me in Ga-Dagbani, a language I unfortunately don't speak at all. I just had to shrug and walk away, hoping she wouldn't come after me with a machete.

I've also converted to being a futbol (aka soccer) fan. It's a sport unrivaled in popularity in Ghana. At some point I'll see a Ghanaian Premier League match at the Accra Sports Stadium. Tickets to the cheap seats are less than $4!

And the real fun times: Moments to cherish ... being on a tro-tro where everyone was yelling (and I mean everyone, excepting myself) in Twi for 15 minutes straight, like an episode of Jerry Springer, and the car being stopped so the driver could get in the face of the man who started the disagreement. I think the dispute was over the fare ... going to campus dressed up to play a concert with the R&B group I volunteered to help out, and finding out 45 minutes before the show that it was cancelled for the second time, meanwhile I had cancelled other plans just for this show ... traveling two hours by tro-tro and hiking 30 minutes uphill to attend a rehearsal that two people confirmed would happen, and arriving to find no one there ... oh, Ghana!

Happy Holidays!!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe! If you need some StoveTop or any other Thanksgiving standard cuisine, stop by Colorado as we have plenty of leftovers....or we can make up some more for your arrival! The weather is oddly warm...the mail carrier was wearing shorts today and we could easily put the air conditioner on in the house! But, it's a great day to do outdoor holiday decorating, which is what Pete and the boys are doing right now...and what I'm off to help with! Sending you our love and best wishes, Joe!
Barbara, Peter, Sean, Zach, and Ryan