Thursday, December 16, 2010

Africa Part 13

Remember when I said I had few qualms about trying food that is local and might put me at risk for... nausea and vomiting? First day in Assin Kruwa, I was hungry. The caution that I threw to the wind, should have been put right back in my pocket. Ate a little something called grasscutter, a large rodent also called a "cane rat" with some fufu. Foul. The closest thing to rotted flesh I have ever tasted. The next day, I wished I didn't. Arjun blames Togo, but I think it was more along the lines of a shigella, or salmonella. Either way, I am going to term it "Ghana-rea" :)

We walked to about 6 churches to tell folks about the Village Bicycle Project, where we target women to teach them how to ride bikes. Worship is such an interesting thing-- some do it with dance, some murmur, some shout. Interestingly at Disco Jesus Church (I know), they didn't show weekly screenings of Saturday Night Fever. Anyway. Back to the bikes. Yes. I helped to teach them. With a shitty bike to learn on, and a considerable language barrier, (even though one day, all the kids of the village huddled around me to teach me Twi), it was quite a challenge, but seeing progress was definitely worth the flailing and gesturing, but mostly the histrionics from wanting to communicate SO badly.
I got to know the latrine pretty well. After my 4-5 days of expelling matter from my body, I wasted no time in replenishing. I had this disgusting oral rehydration solution, (like Gatorade, only disgusting), but also this delicious corn porridge. Creamy, savory, and a-maize-ing! Hahah!! The tomatoes are of a strange shape here, but also delicious. And on the drinking: Guinness here is a special "foreign extra" brew. A little more bitter, and more sour, even. Not so sure that I like it. But Alvaro, I like. This is a mindblowing passionfruit soda, about which I am QUITE passionate. Other beers, tend all to be one syllabled. Club. Star. Stone. Lamp. (Actually not Lamp, but thought that was funny).
Cape Coast found me feeling guilty, but marveling at the beauty unseen by those enslaved. Saw both the Elmina and Cape Coast slave castles, and have a lot of feelings on that still undeveloped but brewing. Will pour it out, at some point.
My last days in Africa were spent in Accra, with friends old and new. Friends that I had met in college, on planes, and through other friends. Fun-derful. What do I remember? The most amazing breakfast, of plaintains, jollof rice, fried chicken and salad. The DuBois Center. Getting my hair braided, and loving the company so much I got my fingers and toenails painted too. (electric blue and blood orange, respectively). Gorgeous batiks, and smiles even more beautiful.

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