Things I Learned in Ghana – Rita

  • How to peel mangos properly
  • How to cook rice in the microwave
  • How to make Ghanaian stew
  • How to make a variety of meals with only a stove top
  • How to speak a little bit of Twi
  • How to walk for hours without getting tired
  • How to urinate outside (LOL)
  • To put bug spray ALL over my body, not just exposed skin
  • That ants here bite and it’s very painful
  • How to cross the street, which sometimes feels more like the playing in traffic that your mother always warned you against
  • How to bargain the prices of EVERYTHING… I was told by my coworker that I can bargain better then most locals, sometimes it takes 20 minutes, but HEY I like good prices 😉
  • That there are truly kind strangers everywhere in Ghana – I have had people walk me to places and go way out of there way, got free taxi and tro-tro rides, people have given me free stuff (African clothes, fabrics, produce, food, etc.)
  • That it starts getting dark here by 6:00pm and is pitch black 6:30pm YEAR ROUND
  • That ‘sacked’ here means getting fired (not kicked in your private parts) LOL that was a funny discussion between me and my boss
  • That Canadians are not the only ones who say ‘Eh’
  • Men here like women who have some extra ‘meat’ on their bones. They believe that if this is the case, it means your family is wealthy because they are able to provide you with plenty of food
  • Ghanains like to laugh A LOT and humour can be a life saver here
  • The words ‘plastic bag’ here do not exist, they are called ‘rubbers’
  • Almost everything under the sun comes in black ‘rubbers’
  • Hitting children with just about any item that is close by is acceptable (comb, purse, shoe, wallet, stick, cane, etc.)
  • That I can survive without air conditioning, Yeah meeee!
  • How to hand wash clothes (although I HATE doing it)
  • That I will not die if I don’t use hand sanitizer 10+ times a day
  • That I can survive without hot water
  • My Ghanaian name – Afua (Friday born)
  • That you cannot survive in Africa without a back pack
  • That sometimes I just had to accept the fact that I had no clue what kind of animal I was eating and I just hoped for the best
  • That you don’t really need to lotion your body here because you sweat so much that your skin never gets dry
  • That freshening up here includes washing your face AND feet
  • That wearing bras are not necessary for girls and women (where have we gone wrong North America!)
  • That the used clothing market here is HUGE (I saw a man wearing a Tim Horton’s uniform shirt recently, I had a proud Canadian moment). They even sell used underwear, which they are trying to due away with due to the spreading of illnesses
  • That I can only eat so many canned sardines until I look at them and feel like I am going to be sick
  • That I can survive on a mainly vegetarian diet
  • That nearly EVERYTHING is cheaper in Ghana (food, fabric, hand made things, clothes, shoes, etc.)
  • That jet lag can last up to 2 weeks (2 days my bottom!!!!)
  • That take-out food is sold in small clear plastic bags and tied (you have to pay extra for take-out containers)
  • That if you don’t know better, locals will over charge you at least double (taxis, food, tro-tro’s, clothes, etc.)
  • That the majority of Ghanaians believe that anyone who is white is filthy rich
  • That I love local food, but only recently has it stopped making me sick
  • How to do just about everything with my right hand (using left hand for many things is not acceptable here)
  • Sadly, given the opportunity some people will pick pocket or steal from you. It happened to me recently, it’s the reality of being a foreigner in a 3rd world country
  • That you pay cash for EVERYTHING here, no one has debit or credit machines and if they do, they don’t work

One thought

  1. Get ready now to enjoy jet lag again…and it sounds like you’ve only JUST adjusted to the food! I wonder what your tummy with think when you get back to Canada.

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