For clarification purposes that will make sense if you read further, I classify all of my leisure reading materials into categories of breakfast cereal. There are three general categories. First, Grape Nuts books, they are dense, full of heavy and lasting content and generally stick with me. Next are Raisin Bran books, which are fairly filling and satisfying but not nearly as much as the Grape Nuts. Last but not least are Froot Loop books that have very little in the way of substantial..anything..aside from momentary enjoyment and I am generally hungry within an hour of eating them but hey, sometimes a girl just needs a Froot Loop fix. Now that has been explained I move on.
Since I have come to Ghana I have gotten in the habit of sending a note home each morning of whatever happens to be on my mind. Sometimes it is only a line or two sometimes more but it is one way that I am staying connected to home. This morning’s note was such a typical day for me here in Ghana I decided to share. Excuse the personal format but it felt weird to change it so here it is—Peace to you all 🙂 . (Thank you Dale for not minding my sharing our correspondence).
So… I was sitting here this morning taking it easy (you know there is going to be a story here when I begin my sentence with So…) because today is Friday and after a hectic week this is the one day I do not have wake up at any particular time. I had my two cups of rationed dirty chai tea and my yogurt and granola, which they call muesli here. I had been listening to the typical morning noises, the school announcements next door, the children laughing, the market coming to life etc. and I was just working up to a little self-reflection/meditation/yoga mode when a tractor with a bush hog started up just below my window in the patch of grass between the hostel and the night market. It was very loud and I found myself slightly irritated because I had been looking at the grass earlier, around 6:00 am, while my tea was steeping and noticing how the long grass was so lovely with the breeze blowing across the tips and how I wanted to hold onto this moment for a bit. Anyway, I knew that the noise was going to be too intrusive and mess up my mojo and that when the tractor was done cutting the grass then all the garbage underneath would be visible again, which got me waxing philosophical about our perceptions and what we choose to focus on, the long beautiful grass gently blowing in the blessed (because it is already hot) breeze or the garbage underneath. By the way as I type this there is a loud cacophony of birds who just started up just outside, so envision (what is the hearing word for envision?) that background noise, but I digress.
Since I knew that there would be no serious and meaningful reflective time happening in the immediate future I decided on reading some mindless drivel of a Froot Loop book because sometimes I just need my brain to go to that hinterland. As I was finishing my second cup of tea, a real treat because I usually only allow myself one cup, the noise suddenly stopped. I got up to see if the noise was indeed done for the day and saw such very Ghanaian scene that I was immediately curious.
Several of the market women were standing by the now stopped tractor speaking animatedly. They were talking with their hands using big sweeping arm gestures and all kinds of long drawn out syllables that are so indicative of the Twi language. They were having a heated discussion with the driver and all kept looking at the ground next to the wheel of the tractor. I heard one of the women say, “daabi, daabi, daabi, dabbi, dabbi, dabbi, dabbi” in a tone that said she was not buying whatever the tractor driver was saying. By the way saying dabbi repeatedly means no, no, no, no, no and is always said very quickly like you would saying no repeatedly. I was so enchanted by the moment that I snapped a photo which I have included in this email. Naturally it does not do justice to how it looks in real life but I thought I would share this with you none the less. You can see the women all staring down at whatever it is they are discussing. If you look closely you will see the “kitchen prep area” (I use that term loosely) behind the market that I try not to think too much about when I am ordering food from the there.
In the end, the women dispersed and the tractor driver continued his mowing and all I could see under the patch of grass that had previously been the source of such a deep discussion, was a big wet looking marshy dark patch that I am quite certain that I do NOT want to know the source of.
Forty days and counting until I come home for break (41 if you count the 23 hours of travel time) which brings a smile to my heart.
Have a restful and good day 🙂
I love you.