Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 3 (May 22) - Fatoush and Spaghetti

We returned to finish our painting at the child development center. Today, we were a bit more alive after having a normal night’s sleep. As we were getting close to the center, our driver stopped, got out and started hitting the ground. He had seen a snake and got out to kill it before continuing down the road. Interesting…

Today, I got my first Ghanaian proposal. Ah yes, as I am enjoying myself painting trim, I realize there is a man that is overseeing my work. He directs me where to paint and then watches. He then asks me to marry him. I politely tell him I have a boyfriend. He then goes outside and I hear him laughing with his friends. I am flattered, confused and insulted at the same time.

For lunch we walk to a different stand, but stop to buy fabric first. Ghanaian batik fabric is made by taking a white piece of cotton (looks like a sheet), and stamping designs onto it with wax. The fabric is then dyed and re-dyed. We bought most of her stock – a very good day for her home business. She was kind enough to show us how she made these pieces of batik in her backyard. She showed us additional stamp designs she had and we told her we would be back for more fabric (unfortunately she did not finish them in time!).

We bought sweet bread and Fanta from a closer store and as we sat in the shade and ate, we noticed some children gathering. Several little boys were walking our way with a soccer ball. This started the juggling session between Stacey and the boys. Wow…Stacey didn’t mention that she is an all-star soccer buff as well…I am very impressed. In addition to my bend-it like Beckham professor, the Ghanaian boys were good…they were really good. More children began to gather as they walked home from school to watch the Obruni (white person)playing soccer. The younger children kept their distance from us and some even started to cry. We realized, later, this was because they had never seen a white person before and we scared them.

On the way back to the hotel, a mother with a child was begging for food from us. She kept repeating, “please, for the child.” I just couldn’t take it anymore. I gave her the rest of the loaf of bread I had bought at lunch. She looked so grateful for this tiny piece of bread and it made me feel really good for a moment. It also made me feel infinitely sad.

I was exhausted and sunburned from the long day of painting in the hot air. Our shower had been fixed! I took the best cold shower I have ever had (in Africa). We decided to go to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner. My stomach and body were starting to feel the effects of my unbalanced diet. I was eating mostly Special K bars and Luna bars during the day with the addition of a loaf of bread and a Fanta. This sugar rich diet was helpful for dehydration but my body was not use to it. I craved a salad and anything but the spicy, greasy Ghanaian fare. Dinner was amazing. I ate spaghetti with marinara and fatoush (an amazing salad). I ordered so much that I was able to take most of the spaghetti home to eat the next night. This was such a delicious meal, I craved that fatoush for the rest of the trip. Again we went to bed no later than 8:30, totally exhausted (I was fat and happy too).

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