14 July 2011 – Turning the Tables

Today I proposed to a Ghanaian man!

Werner, my German friend, and I went to the bead market in Kofftown(Koforidua). We went our separate ways but found each other at the T.K. Beads tables. I love these tables because you can find melted glass beads, powdered glass beads, and painted glass beads in all colors of the rainbow. There must be 15 sq ft of tables filled with beads.

We chatted with the owner and purchased some beads. Then I asked if he knew where I could find the Ashanti brass beads. He took me to three tables across the aisle from his table. I found some nice individual pieces as well as three strings of brass beads. I went over to Werner, at the table next to mine. The owner of T.K. Beads came to check on us. Werner asked about old beads. They were at the table to the right of the Ashanti beads.

I thanked the T.K. Beads owner for his help even going as far as to take us to other trader’s tables. He waved his right arm, collecting all tables on his right and left in a arc and said “These are all my tables.:

Bead lust over came me and it blurted out “Will you marry me!”

Oh my his face was so shocked! Ghanaian men can sure dish it out but they can’t take it. He stuttered once or twice then composed himself, pointing to the woman behind the old beads table he said “But this is my wife!”

I looked at her and we both laughed. Then with a twinkle in her eye she said “Oh but in Ghana we can do it. He can have two wives here.”

I told her that her husband looked like a rich man with all these tables of beads and I needed a rich man. I hugged her and called her my sister wife. Then the negotiations began. I wanted to know who would do the cooking. The junior wife does the cooking and I didn’t want to be cook or junior wife. When she said I had to cook I said the marriage was off! I told her that pounding fufu was too hard for a white lady. The husband joined in and said I would get strong, then the wife said I could make the soups and she would pound fufu.

We haven’t set the date yet but you are all invited!

(Only kidding, Mom, Liz, Becca, Beth. I am coming back to the US for sure and with no husband in tow.)

-vc

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30 August 2011 – Happy 50th Birthday Peace Corps Ghana

 

 

Ghana is the longest continously running Peace Corps program.

Congratulations Ghana staff, PCVs and RPCVs!

Now who better than the Fab Four to wish you a happy 50th!

 

RPCV

-vc

August Sometime – Portia and Rofina

In August I traveled up north for my last visit with the Kampusi’s and my other friends up there. After my visit there Portia, Rofina and I traveled south to my site and then on to Cape Coast. Below is a slide show of photos I took of them on this trip. More about the trip to follow.

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-vc

27 August 2011 – BASCO Friends

Eric Mintah and Luise

Werner Beckmann 

 Luise, Johan Martin Kramer and a student practicing for the Christmas play.

 

vc

RPCV

 

26 Aug 2011 – Last day of COS(Close of Service)

It’s with bittersweet memories that I end my service with Peace Corps. I am now officially called an R(eturned)P(eace)C(orps)V(olunteer) but as I am still in my country of service and not returned to the USA I feel like I am in limbo. Georgette says it’s like Peace Corps Purgatory! Now I am an American tourist in Ghana. Weird feeling I must say. Already the prices seem cheaper than when I was a PCV!

I didn’t have much to do today – an exit interview with the Country Director, Mike Koffman, a meeting with Bob Gingrich, the Administrative Officer, and I collected my travel reimbursement for coming here.

During my two interviews I discovered that what I felt was my greatest accomplishment happened in the toughest part of my service.  When asked by both the CD and Mary Norah I felt that working with Eric Mintah and transfering my skills and knowledge to him was my greatest accomplishment. He was my co-teacher at BASCO.

I’ll close this post with a picture of the memorial rock they painted for me at BASCO.

 

RPCV

Vicky Chase

25 August 2011 – Worth a thousand words

The window in the male slaves dungeon at Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, West Africa.

 

View from one of the Governer’s 4-6 bedroom windows at the castle.

-vc

Sometime in August – Kumasi Suboffice

It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps and because Ghana was the first country to have volunteers on the ground PC is sprucing up the offices. When I visited the Kumasi Sub-office for the last time this month I saw the great murals that fellow volunteers put on the walls. Here they are!

24 August 2011 – Second Day of COS(Close of Service)

The second day of COS was relatively painless.  At 8:00 am I had my physical. Then ate a yummy breakfast of yogurt, fruit and fibre, hot chai and bread with real butter. Then I met for an hour with Mary Norah, my direct boss in the education sector of PC Ghana.  After that Beryl offered to have a driver take me to the Motorway Extension Branch of Barclay’s so I could close my account. So very nice. Customer service certainly has improved in the Admin department since my group COSed last summer.

As I was close to the Mall I decided to see if I could find Brittany, who had gone earlier. I failed to find her but decided to eat and take in a movie. I had a chicken sandwich, cole slaw and french fries (which they insist on calling chips). Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were playing. I choose “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. (trailer) I thought a trip to the mall would help acclimate me to American culture!

I am very sorry that I didn’t take my camera with me but on Saturday I am taking a 4 hour guided tour of Accra and will have plenty of pics to share with y’all.

Back in the good ole USA in 8 days!

-vc

July sometime – Kumasi

I visited Kumasi one last time and took these pics.  I always loved the brick Wesleyan (Methodist) Cathedral  in Kumasi – so happy I could get some photos. In most cities in Ghana the traffic circles are great places to find public art. The man standing on the lion’s back depicts a Ghanaian proverb or story but I don’t know it – Yet. When I do I’ll share. Last some street shots of vendors and traffic. And last the Military Museum up near the clock tower and Opoku market.

 

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Wish you all could have been here with me!

-vc

23 August 2011 – First Day of COS (Close of Service)

I am in Accra staying at the Peace Corps main office here. Slept in a cool and quiet room last night; it was a good night!

First on my list of things to do for COS is to have blood work and test on other samples. Did that this morning. Then I headed over to the dentist. On my way to the dentist I passed Danquah circle where I stopped to take a few photos of the sculptures in the circle.

 

 

Ate at one of my favorite Accra restaurants today for lunch.

 

 

After lunch I went to the bank and waited 1 hour to find out that I needed to go to the office where my account was opened to close it! AAAAAGGGHHHHH

Then I did what any self respecting frustrated woman would do  – I went shopping!  Went to Max Mart and bought cheese, butter – real salted butter, sandwich meat, cereal, yoguart etc for meals while I am here COSing.

I am avoiding talking about BASCO because the relief I feel because I am no longer there makes me feel guilty. It was a tough road. Glad my Germans were there, Luise, Werner and Johan, to laugh and cry with me.

11 days to Houston!

-vc

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