Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ghana: Day 7 -- Life in Kete Krachi

While in Kete Krachi, we stayed at the Credit Union guest house, a popular choice for out of town guests.  While the guest house itself seemed modern at first sight, the accomodations were still somewhat primitive.  There was no running water, and while there was an air conditioning unit in one of our rooms, it did not work.
I longed to scrub the bathroom such as I do back home (it's the mom in me, what can I say?), but without running water, cleaner and a scrub brush, it was nearly impossible. 

Each evening, as we came home from our time with the children and our walks along the main road in Kete Krachi, we took one bucket of water from the hallway of the guest house, and took it into our room so that we could take turns taking bucket baths in the tiny bathroom stall at the guest house.  

While the bucket baths with cool water were refreshing, the fresh feeling didn't last long in the musty, dusty, humid, and hot guest house room.  Still, it felt like home, and thoughts of being back in North America were far, far away.  It was important for me to stay in the moment and take in every morsel of time here while my feet were on this soil.  

It's one thing to read about being here in Africa, but another entirely to breathe in the dirt and dust that layers everything in sight with a thin brown orange film.  Poverty can almost be tasted everywhere you go, and the scents, the sights, the taste, burn into your heart forever as they become a part of your newfound perspective.

We enjoyed taking walks down to the main road in Kete Krachi, which was where the vendors sold their goods out in the open.

View facing the direction of the Village Of Life. 

Below, the view in the direction of Lake Volta.

Around the corner from the hotel was a tiny little stand we walked to in order to treat ourselves to the occasional Coca Cola for 60 Ghana pesawas.  The Muslim store owner, a Muslim woman who may have been in her late 30's or early 40's, began anticipating our visits after the first few days, sometimes asking where the rest of our group was when only one or two of us would show up.  We had to drink our drinks at the store, since they send the bottles back for refilling.  Joshua managed to convince her to let him buy one empty bottle to take back home as a souvenir.  

We soon found another small stand that sold fresh baked bread, and one that sold fabric.  We even found a stand that sold general items, including school notebooks with a picture of Obama on the front cover!

Behind our hotel was a slum where dozens of children gathered amidst garbage and livestock.  While we were waiting to be picked up on Friday afternoon, I suggested to the team that we give one of our extra soccer balls to these children so that they could share and play with it together.  The ball they had been playing with, likely given to them by a previous traveller, was very low on air, so we brought the pump and filled it up again, much to their delight.

Then, we entertained them, as they entertained us.  They wanted their photos taken, and they wanted to see those photos on the back of our cameras... so for nearly half an hour, that's just what we did as we played with them, held babies, and loved on these children for those brief moments.

I got to hold this precious baby ever so briefly, until he began to realize that something was different... I was an obruni, and he didn't like that very much.  I returned him to his sister who was caring for him.

Silly photos, it seems, are universal when photographing children anywhere in the world.  I loved this, and from the cheers when they each took turns looking at the photo on the back of my camera, so did they!

This boy was carrying a heavy cooler on his head, and seemed proud of being asked to pose this photo.

Tia and Debra, buried in a sea of beautiful brown faces!

This little girl was SO beautiful, and so quiet!

She loved to have her photo taken, and kept posing in various places.  So sweet!

All too soon, our time with these children came to an end as our drive arrived, but our time with them was carried in our hearts long after those moments ended.  This was one of the many highlights of our time in Kete Krachi.


Previous Updates:
Day 1 -- Ticket Revoked?
Night 1 -- Altitude 0m
Day 2 -- The Adventure Continues
Day 3 -- (Pre-Posted) Dear Ato Sam
Day 3 -- Enyan Abaasa (Meeting Ato Sam)
Day 4 -- Precious
Day 4 -- (Pre-Posted) Double The Joy
Day 4 -- George & George (Meeting the twins)
Day 5 -- Back To Accra
Day 5 -- I Like Tacos!
Day 6 -- "Bobble Boobs"
Day 7 -- Breaking Ground
Day 7 -- Beyond The Surface
Day 8 -- Face To Face With Slavery