First, some tidbits.
I forgot to tell you about the drive from Accra to Cape Coast – there are signs and speed limits, but I promise you – I spied 120 km/hour at one point – the limit was 50 on that road! As my mom says, the signs, lights, lane lines – they’re just suggestions but not required (her experience in China seems similar to mine here!) Ghanaian’s have a knack of making a 2 lane road become 4 lanes – they’re experts, don’t try that at home!
The other tid bit that I forgot is this: I mentioned I would explain the importance of neosporin. Well, just so happens, I’m a delicacy to the Ghanaian mosquitos. Something gnawed at my left “pointer” toe. I had a pretty interesting response – after the itching subsided, it swelled up a bit – about the size of a nickel. It even started seeping, well – not seeping, but leaking plasma. I realized – in that pouch with everything else, was my tube of neosporin. Yay. Well, my mom made me take aspirin anyway because she said I could use it for a bite – so, I put a band-aid with the aspirin underneath, on top of my wound. The ladies thought it was funny (this was the pedicure night.)
Well, the next day I was going through my first aid kit and noticed I had band-aids with antibiotic in them..I used one, nice purple band-aid on my white skin – yeah, that didn’t draw any attention! But, I’m happy to tell you, my toe is safe 😀 Today, I was itching like mad – I think those buggars come eat me at night – I’m considering wearing socks to bed (Auntie Baaba thought that was why my feet were itching and told me I should wear my “slippers” – flip flops more. I pretty much take off my shoes when I get home – when I did put on my sandals, I noticed the itching was where the plastic strap is, oh well – can’t win them all.)
Anyway, today as I was preparing for the math lesson, my foot – the left one again! – started itching like mad. I didn’t have anything, then the thought came to use my “True Lemon” drink mix as a topical. I did, it seemed to help. SO, if you don’t have scotch tape, cream, aspirin..or lemon, just stab your fingernail into the bite to distract your nerve endings. I’ve done that a few times too. Doesn’t last as long as the lemon, but it’s temporary relief!
The driver, Kwame, he’s adorable. If I have left over breakfast (this morning it was kosi) or if I make a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll try to share with him. This morning he asked what I liked because he feels bad that I’m always bringing him something and he doesn’t bring me anything. I told him, he drives me where I need to go (though, it is for a fee!) It was sweet too, because yesterday he asked if I had a family – I told him, yes – I have a husband, so I’m sorry I couldn’t be his wife. I also told him I’d keep my eye out for any young woman that may suit him. If you’re looking – he’s 25 and terribly polite 😀
What else..oh, I’m curious if the tummy issue is related to the malaria pills. I’m not going to risk NOT taking the pills, so fortunately, today marks the halfway mark of my adventure. It’s bitter sweet. One of my contacts, Trish, informed me about a restaurant that has pizza near the Cape Coast Castle – I may try to convince someone to go with me on Saturday..my mouth is watering as we speak. If I were in the States right now, can’t say I’d want pizza – I maybe crave it twice a year, this is one of those times!
The family I’m staying with has been absolutely wonderful. I don’t know any other Ghanaian family that eats as many sausages and potato chips – we call that hotdogs and french fries. The other saving grace is this: this week, I learned that one of the teachers makes popcorn and brings it in to sell for 10 pesewas – a little less than a dime and a smidge more than a nickel. So, fortunately, popcorn is one of my FAVORITE snacks, I love it!
Now, today – moderately uneventful. Taught math – was so excited when the kids were able to apply the past 2 days’ lessons 😀 For science, we incorporated the math lesson – we polled the students about where “home” is and made a graph. I made some questions to go along with the graph – I’d say about 75% of the 21 students (there would be 22, but a young lady I haven’t met named Elizabeth has been sick since I’ve been there 😦 ) But, 75% of the students were able to get at least 4 out of the 5 parts. About the same were able to copy the graph accurately. That’s better than the English numbers, but just means we have an analytically minded class.
Another young man is sweet as can be, I’ve been trying to figure out what his strengths are so that he will know as well. I was able to construct the graph appropriately, so I hope he will excel wonderfully at a trade!
It was funny, because as the mosquitos were attempting to have a buffet, I got out my Repel and sprayed my legs. The kids couldn’t hear me spray, but they smelled it. What would be an annoying smell in the US was a welcomed smell in their classroom. Opposite sides of the world 🙂
Speaking of opposites, my sister asked me which way the toilet flushes – I think because we’re still in the northern hemisphere (I almost said North America – uh..no!) it swirls clockwise. Sorry to disappoint! She also asked me what it smelled like – when I first landed it smelled like sulfur. The smells that I’ve come to know as Ghana now include a type of fermenting smell that I associate with banku, a mildew type of smell that the cupboards smell like, burning plantain leaves, goat poo, fish…and most of the food is red or orange – curry and ginger are main ingredients, well – not main, but common. Practically in every dish, including my breakfast this morning!
Esi made me something that was thinner than the glue-meal I had last week. She put cocoa in it and I added evaporated milk and sugar. It wasn’t half bad. The ginger burns my lips a little, but it was nice. OH, and, I ate a banana. I know that seems insignificant – but when you’re a fruit and dairy girl and you haven’t had much of either…a banana was heaven for my snack this morning 😀
I had a thought as I was typing that, but I lost it…last night we just played cards (my little playmates and me) and ate out hotdogs. There’s something called a yam chip (well, that’s what I would call it!) It’s a yam french fry, I’ll try it if I get the chance. This morning there was a pot of snail on the stove..not sure what the intentions are with this mysterious stew, but you know I’ll give you a full report!
Hmm..yesterday Dora said I could call Scott from my phone. I was relieved because, knowing the system out here, I snuck and called him the night before. Poor guy is going through some personal challenges at work, and I’m not there in body to support him. I wanted to check on him and give him my love 😀 SO, last night I was able to talk to him a little more. I’ll just make sure I replace the “credits” I use 🙂 I’m grateful I’m visiting now versus 10 years ago when most people take an adventure abroad (in their early 20s) because technology, electricity, plumbing – all have come a long way 😀
I suppose that’s about it. I think we’re going to go to the beach and get some seafood. Till tomorrow blogging buddies!