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Making do

survival skills


I have been in Ghana now three weeks and my survival skills have kicked into overtime. I have learned that eating out all the time will put excessive weight on you no matter what country you are in; even though going out to eat here is on a different level than in the States. The restaurants here are like having home cooked meal Ghanaian style.

Some of the little things mean a lot to mean now; like cheese. Cheese is not so readily accessible here in Ghana and oh how I miss it. Delivery of pizza is a thing of the past, besides I don't really care for the pizza here either. Well I said pizza delivery but what I really meant was any delivery of food is not happening here in Ghana.

I was given a stove thingy and it has been my best friend for the past week. I realize that eating out can be expensive even in a third world country. My survival skills have kicked into high gear at this point, and I know that I have three weeks left for my funds to last me. I have been cooking a few things that give me some comfort like: black-eyed peas, tuna casserole, and porridge( that is not American); hot cereal is hot cereal.

I am really missing vegetables. First, they are more expensive than back at home and I refuse to pay the high price. Second, you don't always get them when eating out. Today I found a little stand that sells fresh greens, eggplant, and carrots; I almost did a dance until I remembered that I got a warning about cholera being high during the rainy season. Well those survival skills kicked into high gear and I had to think like my parents; wash the veggies with soap and rinse well.

Look out veggie lady because here I come. These people don't know me I will build a fire and bar-be-que, have greens cooking, and mac & cheese brewing in a New York min. I am glad I have a dad that can really cook some food and he taught me a lot about survival.

I was not raised rich nor was I given things on a silver platter, or any platter for that matter. In Ghana you begin to realize how spoiled you are as an American period bottom line. The poorest American got it real good compared to Ghanaian life. I have learned to make do when there is no water and seem to adjust to it really well. I think when you don't take a bath and days of deet is built-up on your skin, the mosquito don't seem to bother you. Yeah, I am saying I don't get bitten when I don't bathe, and I rather enjoy it. This lessen my chances of contracting malaria. I have learned to go draw water from outside and take a bucket bath, or not to bathe at all; just hit the hot spots.

Being in Ghana makes me appreciate the former life that I had in the USA. Although there are things that I enjoy about being in Africa like: when you need antibiotics you just go to the pharmacy and get them no prescription needed; this will make doctor's in the U.S. cringe. I really like the friendliness of every one here. You can bargain prices on thing here and no coupons needed, nor there is no sales tax on items. I have learned the way of the natives very quickly.

I want to thank Rev. Julian L. Allen(daddy) for all that he is, also my deceased mother Alma M. Allen for all that I am not. You see with out these two very important people in my life I would have never made it this far in Ghana. A girl that is in the USAC group said the other day " it takes a certain kind of person to make it in Ghana," and I would have to totally agree with her on that one. I guess my father has passed on some of those military skills to me and my siblings; also growing up in the hood has somewhat primed me for all of these experiences. My mother has passed on the adjusting behavior to me( what every situation she was in she could adapt to it), change her colors like a chameleon.

Posted by Kathy Porter 16:12 Archived in Ghana Tagged room 1 ish #81

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