Happy Friday from Accra

August 16, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are well. Today was a wonderful and very interesting day. In the morning, I finished most of my work. I had a lunch meeting and then went out with Moses to finish the last bits of work.

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The lunch meeting started and then ran a little late, but it was a pretty fun meeting.

We had an interesting adventure going to the Volkswagen dealership, we crossed this “bridge” pictured to get there. Good thing I’ve had some gymnastics training. Under the bridge was a river of trash and sewage. You can see Moses about to cross it here. We took the long but less freaky way back. After work, Moses showed me some of the Muslim neighborhoods of Accra, where I took some pictures of kids because they wanted me to and then they wanted to see the pictures on the camera. I felt like such a silly tourist.

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Later, Moses took me on a kind of walking tour of the Makola market, an enormous local market right near the hotel. We only saw a fraction of the market. There are major areas for different things being sold. There’s a used clothing area (which you see here), a household products area, a shoes area, a food area featuring produce and grilled fish and what I think were pig or cow hooves, a different food area with candy and cereals, etc. The market is right alongside the train station, so we walked through there too.

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There was a lineup of men at the station who wanted our tickets or payment (or something) in order to go to the station, but Moses let them know we were just looking around, that I was a friend and we were just trying to get a view of the place, and not actually going on a train. They let us through without any trouble or bribes! Hm. After the train station, we walked through the Polytechnic school and then looped back to the hotel. On our way I noticed a woman grilling little pellets of something. I learned that people grill a kind of special clay for pregnant ladies to eat so because it relieves having to spit a lot.

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Apparently people have been doing this for many, many years. I did not realize this spitting was a problem during a pregnancy, and Moses was unsure if I had been pregnant before so then he explained it to me. There are many women much younger than I am that are pregnant here or are carrying children so I guess I’m not surprised that he didn’t just assume.

20130816_171059After our walking tour, I went inside and had a nice video chat and then a really great work out. It felt pretty weird but nice to be out of the dirty market and station and I felt very lucky to be able to escape it. It was so hot and humid in the gym but I managed to complete a decent distance run and was very happy about that. For dinner, I had some fish and salad and rice. It’s bed time now, because tomorrow I’m leaving the hotel at 6 AM to head to two Slave Castles and then a National Park! I’m also going to get my laundry done tomorrow. Wahoo!

Love, Annie

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