Tuesday, 1 dec 2009, Ada and Accra:
So I haven’t gone into any detail about Thanksgiving 2009, but that’s really not my fault at all. I mean, it was my fault I broke my sunglasses and therefore completely abandoned my initial intent to Blah Log Blog about my Thanksgiving experience in Ada, Ghana, but overall, it’s really not my fault that I’ve been remiss in writing about Thanksgiving.
I get so tired here, and so quickly, too. My job can be utterly exhausting and the heat in Accra can be overwhelming. If you’ve been to Accra, or maybe even Africa in general, perhaps you understand me. If not, then perhaps you think I’m just being lazy. But I’m not kidding. I get tired. Ask Desmond. He specifically asked me to please NOT go to sleep at 3:30pm (his time) because I had begun to develop a regular pattern of passing out at 8:30pm (my time), which meant we hadn’t been able to talk for a few days, which has to happen after he’s done with work (5:00pm his time, 10:00pm my time).
My point—I apologize. Sorry for not Blah Log Blogging about Thanksgiving, because, really, it was quite an experience, the most amazing experience of which wasn’t the beautiful beach, the simple lifestyle of living in a reed hut, or the coolness of swimming in the Volta River. The most amazing part was meeting Larry, a 49-year-old Ghanaian man, who bigheartedly and unquestionably invited me to spend the night with his family at their family compound upon learning of my financial woes.
Thing was, I’d done two things wrong: not brought enough money, and not been shrewd enough to avoid paying out the ass for things that are supposed to be dirt cheap—like, for instance, a canoe ride from the mainland to the strip of beach on the estuary, where I was staying. Let me tell you, I was pissed when I found out how much I’d paid compared to what I SHOULD have paid. At any rate, after spending only one night in my reed hut at the estuary beach (where the Volta River and the Atlantic Ocean meet), I wound up with less money than I’d planned and determined that the best plan of action would be to end my Thanksgiving getaway/holiday a day earlier than scheduled, and spend to Friday night at a cheap hotel on the mainland in Ada, or just take a tro-tro straight back to Accra and call it a wrap.
Anyway, so I met Larry at a spot in town, and somehow started rambling about my issues (can you just imagine: me, yapping on to a stranger about personal circumstances? I mean really…hard to imagine). Yaddayaddayadda, I wound up sharing multiple Club beers with him at his brother’s place overlooking the handsome, rich blue Volta River, then accepting his invitation to stay the night at his family compound with his three sisters, twin brother, skinny kittens, one goat and some random cousins.
It was a fabulous turn of events for me. Most awesome.
His sister, Mathilda, grilled me a fresh, meaty tilapia with rice and pepe, at Larry’s insistence and my hesitant request. We all ate together in the courtyard, sharing cold beers and listening to Bob Marley, a common interest Larry and I discovered about each other earlier in the afternoon.
His family gave me a room of my own, with a rotating fan. They let me use their bucket shower, which was absolutely divine.
In the morning, his cousin, Bruno, bought me two sticks of fried clams from a lady he saw passing by, which I ate with curiosity and relish. Clams on a stick, huh? Never tried that before. But then again, I’ve never randomly gone to spend the night at a Ghanaian household either. So, in my mind, I figured what the hell. Eat the clams. If I wound up having a runny stomach later in the day while on the tro-tro ride back to Accra, at least I’d have a smile on my face from the generosity and pleasantness of my new friend, Larry, and his family.
Happy Thanksgiving for sure.