Yes, they are all here. Everyone arrived safely last night. It was midnight before the bus rolled into the Hansonic. Each room had been refurbished and everyone has air-conditioning. They could have slept in this morning but most hardly slept at all. We have three girls in one room and they admitted that they were up to 3 am (11pm your time).
The first day in Ghana is very low-key. We visited a taylor to begin the process of making shirts etc for some of the team. Others had already been measured and their outfits are being made. The fun part was the photo session with the taylors who wanted photos with us. We had to keep moving around to find a lighting that would work best for all of us.
Here is the market in eyes of two of our team members:
Jasmine Tyler, teen.
This morning, we left the comfort of the Hansonic Hotel and went to explore the markets of Accra. Everything in the market was so incredibly different from anything I have ever seen. Into the crowds of hissing Ghanaians, I fought to keep up with the group, (Thanks for wearing the colorful bandana Debi!).
Then, a lot of people, and disgusting smells, and sweat later, we made it to what I had been waiting for. Many fabrics, geometrical patterns, and sparkles; hands down, the fabric market was the best part of the market experience. Floral patterns, sparkling lace, everything under the sun . . . Literally! The market was astonishing, and a memory of the first time I went will be remembered forever.
Althea Allen, adult.
I never thought that I would get the chance to shop on the equator. What an experience! The sights and sounds of the Makola Market were so vibrant, I easily became distracted. “Auntie”, they called. “How are you?” So many voices calling to get my attention to buy their wares. There were cute babies to wave to and vehicles to dodge. Trying to keep up with the group was an interesting and sometimes challenging task. It seemed like I played a stony game of hopscotch over the city sewers through the crowded streets of Accra. So many people…so many smells-fried smells, perfume smells-…body smells. This was truly sensory overload; but truly the best way to absorb the culture of Accra. My cubicle sized personal space bubble was now shrink-wrapped.
We followed a colorful maze of vendors-fried tilapia, fried plantains, books and Plasma TVs. At the end of this rainbow we came to the fabric market. The fact that there were so many patterns to choose from made my final purchase more like a found treasure. After the fabric market we decided to go to Shoprite, which was located in an African Mall complete with a glass elevator. It seemed to be a miniature and more expensive version of what I’m used to in the states. All in all shopping on the equator turned out to be an exciting adventure, one of many that I will never forget.
The day ended with a trip to Shoprite for a few snacks. They wouldn’t let us wear our backpacks in the store so we took turns babysitting a cart filled with them. The ride home included a heated barginning session along the John Atta Mills High Street for some very nice maps of Ghana. Pretty soon, heads were nodding. It think everyone will sleep tonight.