Day 3 Accra, Ghana. Slept until the unheard of hour of 7.30am. Refreshing! Breakfast of tea and fried egg with tomato and pepper on toast.
Michael the taxi driver collected me at 9am; we wove through another traffic jam and I admired the ongoing construction in downtown Accra; there are huge apartment & office buildings springing up Everywhere!
Training at the Accra Education Community Library; an amazing facility, nicer than libraries I’ve seen in the US & filled with students from Kindergarten thru University. The library is 2 floors with high ceilings, tons of windows and has beautiful tile work. The children’s area comprises the entire downstairs. Upstairs is reserved for high school and university students.
16 librarians attending the very formal training complete with opening prayer, introductions and then the activities. The training went well and participants helped to tell 3 little fish and big bad shark along with enjoying the ABC activity list. It ended with the Vote of Thanks. Felt very much like the workshops I presented in Belize. Along with participants wandering in at all hours.
Presented a rousing storytelling session for 70 rambunctious and energized children. They were a bit out of control and I was saddened that although there was a staff of 16, none of them supervised the children who were running ripshod around the library. Eventually we gathered them for story and they were ok after I reigned them in a bit. They did participate with high energy on the Giant Yam and the Lion and Wise old Rabbit story which I told after seeing them pushing each other around.
Michael, the taxi drive and I lucked out with NO traffic on the way home and arrived in 30 minutes flat!
I Had hoped for a cold beer or a glass of palm wine to end the week, alas I am in a Muslim neighborhood where alcohol is 100% frowned upon. I walked up and down the street being greeted by the children and adults with huge smiles, and “hello! How are you?” To which I responded, “fine and you?” with a smile in return. A few of the children reached out and touched my skin, smiling and laughing.
I did happen upon one small bar (shack), but felt it would be improper to enter alone as a woman, especially given my surroundings. As I contemplated it, 3 Muslim women approached me & said me, “you know alcohol is evil and will make you do bad things.” I smile and walked back home.
Bathed, washed my hair and shirt and flushed the toilet with only about 1 quart of water: I think I’m turning Ghanaian!
Joana and Justine arrived soon after and Joana showed me how to make Ampesi, a stew, which I now share with you!
Cook Yams and plantains. (boil in a separate pot)
Spinach chopped (steam it in a separate pot)
1 purple Onion chopped
Chop 1 cup tomatoes and 2 or 3 hot red Peppers (blend)
Smoked Fish (mackerel in small chunks) (2 small ones)
Agusi (seed, looks like large sunflower or small pumpkin seed) (blended)
Can of pureed tomatoes
Use ½ cup of Palm oil to sautee onion.
Add pureed (stewed) tomatoes. Let it cook.
Add a few tablespoons of the blended (pureed) seeds.
Add ½ tspn salt.
Add the fish.
Add chopped spinach.
Ate dinner with my hands! Yam and Plantain with ampsi, a stew! Delicious! And I loved eating with my hands.
Evening chatting with Joana about mmoatia, mama wata, some of the beliefs here, respect of elders, and spirits.
Thus ends my day. Tomorrow is another day of workshops and then I have Sunday “off.” (but not really because I’m doing interviews!) And so it goes!