I can’t believe that I have been in Ghana almost two weeks and Drew Davidsen has been here over a week. At times it seems that it was only yesterday that I was packing, weighing and repacking four suitcases but time has flown by as we have done several weeks worth of work in the last week. I was so exhausted yesterday that I fell asleep at 5 pm and slept until 7 this morning.
Anyone who has followed my blogs for the last few years knows that I love going to Makola Market in Accra. It is where locals shop for just about anything you need or want. It is a veritable sea of African humanity. Imagine several miles of buildings 4-5 stories high, old and crumbling. Each floor has rows of stalls filled with goods. Now add several rows of stalls surrounding each building. Then there are roads coming and going in all directions. Many of the roads are impassible because people have set up stalls in the middle of the road. Of course this does not stop the taxis, trucks or cars from trying to pass down each road. Then add 50,000+ Africans to the mix. Now you have a picture.
Of course Drew and I cannot hide our very white complexion in this sea. We listen to “O bruni buy from me”—local for white person, being shouted as we walk by. We smile and wave. They wave back.
On this journey we have purchased 1,200 boxes of crayons to give out with our Germs and Worms Coloring books health mission. They are small boxes but the two cartons weight 35 pounds each. Our carrier, Fostina, a small girl of about 15 years old, places both cartons on her head and proceeds to cross through the Sea without missing a beat. At times she hardly had room for a piece of paper between her and the person in front of her. I gave her 10 Ghana cedis; the going rate is 2 cedis.
My grandmother, bless her heart, was a waitress for 55 years. She received awards of service from The Lord Baltimore and Hilton Hotel’s in Baltimore. She could enter a room with 4 plates on each arm, zigzag between tables and never spill a drop. She like the Africans, had a keen sense of spatial relationship. As people weave in and out of this African Sea they are a hair’s breath from the person in front of them and they never bump into the goods piled 3 feet high on the edges of each stall. I, on the other hand, trip over the uneven stones; my purse snags a large group of pumice stones and sends them everywhere. In the meantime I have to stop to apologize to the stall owner who is scolding me. I have backed up the line of 20 Ghanaians who want to pass me, lost sight of my group since I was bringing up the rear and am nearly decapitated by a large bowl of pig’s feet. I did not inherit grace from my grandmother but nevertheless, I did inherit her perseverance so I will be back in the market in a day or so!