Ghana Team Journal

Warm welcome in Senchi Ferry!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I woke up around 8:00 am. I slept ok. Margaret and I went downstairs to the restaurant within the hotel for breakfast. It was a very simple buffet set up. I had an omelet with what looked like maybe tomatoes added to it with one thick home-style toast with butter and glass of pineapple juice. Very satisfying. Before leaving the hotel we changed our US dollars to the Ghanaian money cedes. $100 US gave us 180 Cedes. Then we were off to the guest house where we will be staying during out time. The ride was almost an hour long. I enjoyed observing the local people and the surrounding areas. The women wore both traditional and western influenced attire. I love watching the women carry baskets of goods on their heads with such grace and confidence. I noticed some farm animals like, goats, sheep, and cows roaming freely. Food market stands are setup along the side of the road. Mangos, melons, coconuts, papayas, yams and grains were among some of the products being sold. The main road is paved but the surrounding areas were mostly brick red color dirt.  The houses the people lived in were make shifts. Nothing fancy. Some areas had the houses apart from one another while some houses were almost on top of each other. Laundry and be seen being hung to dry on walls of the local homes. I even saw a local bathing in the outhouse of his living quarters. There were many unfinished constructions. Esther told me the people work on these homes when they have enough money saved. It can take as long as 5-20 years to finish a project at this pace. I did see one college and an army recruiting school during the ride.
When we reached the guest house, the people there were very welcoming. After settling down in our room, we meet with Esther to have a small quick meeting. We learned some native words like:

 Obroni: “white” person

Maakaye: morning

Maaha: afternoon

Maadwo: evening


To a woman: yaa ena

To a man: yaa agya

To a friend: yaa anua

To a child: yaa oba

After our meeting we ate lunch. Food was awesome! Chicken, jollof rice, and crisp vegetables. After our short rest, Margaret, Esther, and I went on our first walk through Senchi Ferry. The locals were very happy to see us especially the kids. The kids shouted obroni! obroni! We waved them hello. Our first visit was to the Chiefs of the village house. The  greeting was a little different from my norm. We followed Esther and said to everyone in the room then the chief went around to introducing himself to everyone. The chief, Obi, held a special welcoming ceremony for us. Part of the ceremony involved passing around one shot glass and poured schnapps for each person to spill on the ground then take a sip. I thought about not participating in this but Margaret went before me and she received cheers and applause. Therefore, I had no choice but to do it. I’m glad I did it because the smiles and the appreciations were priceless. After we left their home, we went across the road to the library, the one former Global Volunteers helped built. It was a beautiful library with many books and a computer room. On Monday Margaret and I will read to and with the local kids.

By 6:00pm, we were back at the guest house and dinner was ready. Again, the food was great and the most I have ever eaten... After dinner, Margaret and I got to know each other better. She just retired from being a cafeteria manager in Ohio and I’m currently a cafeteria manager in New York.

 It’s after 8pm and I’m still trying to digest the wonderful, filling, food we at 2 hours ago.