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  • Writer's pictureLisa

Ghana in October: Day One With Seamstresses, Our Ankaase Kids, and a Crazy Market

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

We’re finally here and just finished our first full day. I’m typing at top speed since the electricity is out and my computer battery is at 60%. I must learn the charging dance and plug everything in while the electricity is on because when it goes out you don’t know when it’s coming back on. So go flick your light switch on and off – and on again for me. I’ve taken electricity for granted.

Other than lights (and air-conditioning) out , our day in Ankaase and Kumasi was wonderful. As usual, it wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I’m learning that if a day went exactly as planned, it just wouldn’t be Africa. We met the two seamstresses who will be sewing the first batch of the Ankaase bags. If you haven’t read about the bag, you can here. We purchased the fabric, not in the market, but on a back street in the village of Nkwanta. The seller brought the fabric out from a house and laid it across the hood of the cab. We chose 30 yards of varying patterns. We delivered the fabric, sample bag, pattern, and instructions to our two seamstresses, Hilda and Mary. By the end of the week we expect to have an armload of bags to bring home. That’s the plan. Everyone smile when you say that.

Then it was on to buy beads from the craft village, which was a long process involving about six men and lots of haggling. We successfully purchased about 200 beads and everyone was happy.

Well, most everyone.

Then we headed to the Kumasi Market, a mind-blowing experience. I have been in markets in China and Azerbaijan, but this was something else entirely. Photos do not convey the chaotic, multi-sensory experience that is the Kumasi Market. And I loved it.

We bought some beautiful beads, so if you’re at all inclined to buy a Krobo Bead bracelet for Christmas (merchant plug) you would make my trek through the market even more worthwhile. Actually, I loved the market and would love to go back when I return, but I’m definitely wearing closed-toe shoes. Lots of standing water. Enough said.

The best part of the day was visiting three of the students Erin and I tutored in May: Adu, Sarah, and Osei. If you sponsor one of these students, you’ll be glad to know that they were thrilled with their bag of goodies, the Bible, and the assurance that you are praying for them. I had only visited Adu’s home in May, so it was good to see where Sarah and Osei live. Tomorrow we will visit Beatrice, Kadri, and Maria. And I’m so proud of Adu. He doesn’t like the camera, but he once again forced a smile.

So, tonight I am sitting in the almost-dark trying not to think about how sweltering hot it is in my room and what a wimp I am. Everything is so still. I hear crickets and dogs barking in the distance. I’m keeping company with a three-inch lizard thing that keeps crawling up and down the wall in the back room behind my bed. My Milk Duds melted in my room. And I really, really miss Kyle and the kids. But, as the Ghanaians would say, “God is good. God is good.” He is. Despite being exhausted from a 24-hour flight delay, a touch of homesickness, and a feeling that there is never enough that I can do to make a difference for these kids I have come to love, God has given me a quiet peace. I am exactly where I am supposed to be even though it’s hot, dark, and a little overwhelming. He gives us just enough for the next step.

As I typed the last few words, the electricity came back on. No one here whines about the rationing. Ghanaians rarely complain; they just endure. But I’d like to know who is behind all the turning off and on of the power in this country. I’ll just bet they have a generator.

Until tomorrow, goodnight from Ankaase, Ghana.

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