Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Is nice to be nice" at Labadie Beach

 Well, this morning (Saturday) was pretty casual. We all had breakfast downstairs with this really sweet pineapple that’s completely white not yellow. Then we all rested for a few more hours to get back on track. Next on the agenda...Labadie Beach!

Driving to the beach was fascinating. I know I already have a video of driving, but here’s another. I just get glued to the scenery, not for its beauty but because it is so different. Little shantytowns that look like they should be totally abandoned but there are people everywhere. Trash piled in the gutters, dirt, and little stands of things to sell. I have no idea who they are selling to because it looks like everyone is in the same situation as their neighbor. Suppose that is why we are targeted so much, with a sort of expected ability to buy.  But the colors and faces of the people are still so mesmerizing. I just can’t help but wonder what their world is like. What greets them each morning when they wake up?

Beach Entrance with Carlie & Jordyn

Pulling up to the beach is nothing like Cambria. Walking up to the sand with Bob Marley humming somewhere low in the background, you see chairs to relax on, kids playing soccer and volleyball, and then you are immediately bombarded with vendors and shop owners. We no sooner sat down then maybe 10 men swarmed around the table and began bargaining. We bought nice cold pineapple juice and I, of course, bought two chunky bracelets and a bar of chocolate. PrioritiesJ 

Things are so dang cheap. Their money system runs by cedis (sounds like “said-ease”) and it’s a good exchange rate for the U.S. dollar. After about an hour we eventually were left alone and could enjoy just looking at the water, but it took a while. We had to convince people that we were definitely still not interested in their bracelets, games, shirts, kabobs, and drums even though they already asked each of us individually three times! So great~

Can you see Obama on her shirt?!

 And people here are so excited to tell us Obama is coming to Ghana on the 10th. As soon as they figure out we aren’t European but American they’re like “Yeah, Obama!” ALL the time.  Every taxi ride eventually turns to the impending visit. They say the Ghanaian people are honored he chose their country first out of all African countries.

Later tonight we went out to dinner for the first time. A little place called the Paloma restaurant. I got spaghetti with really flavorful sauce.

 And I’m not sick yet! Yeah. It was our first time walking around at night. We have to cross the main thoroughfare where there is a stop light about every 200yds. So strange to see these cars racing by and then one single stop light just for pedestrians to cross. The weather was so nice. All day long it has been overcast with a little breeze. Come to find out, we are here during the rainy season so it is not stifling hot…cross your fingers. However, we still got burned, but apparently I only burn on one half of my body. Haha!

Oh and sometimes in the evenings we get to listen to a Pentecostal preacher deliver his sermon right next door. He uses a megaphone so his chanting comes straight into our room.  I turned to my roommates and said, “It’s times like these that remind you you’re in Africa!” And the fact that I have to blow dry my hair crouched down on the floor with one hand securing the plug into the wall because it keeps shorting out. We accidentally already blew one converter. Oops!

We started watching Roots tonight as a class assignment. So far it feels like I’m just here for fun, but the work will come soon enough. Monday we meet with the schoolteachers to find out what it going to be expected of us when we teach and we might even get to go to the orphanage too. Things are still going great and everyone is so nice. I think I was so nervous about being hot and sick that I forgot most of the time might actually just be fun and enjoyable! What a nice surprise~


  1. Your attitude and enthusiasm is refreshing Anne Marie as you embark on this daring adventure!

  2. Anne make us tear up and chuckle at the same time! Your commentary is so fun and descriptive. I will write to your email...Mom