Tuesday, November 16, 2004

So I thought I would write a bit on my daily routine, if there is such a thing.

Up with the roosters around four o'clock am and my sleep is very broken from then on. The dogs bark, people turn on radios, birds chirp, hoo ho hoo hoo hoo and my host family prays. Laud, Edgar, Cecilia and Amano and Dan are my family members, each precious in their own right. I get up and get dressed. I brush my teeth and spit in the sink in the hallway. The pipe runs straight down into a bucket beneath the sink. There is no running water. I drink water from small plastic pouches or from water bottles in the fridge. They are dodgy though as they came from a pipe. The toilet is in a small room and the tank is filled with water from the bucket under the sink. I only flush after I have pooped and toilet paper goes in the garbage can. It took me some time to figure this out and I felt horribly guilty about flushing the toilet every time I used it. The amount of water a tank holds is exhorbant. I take a bucket in the shower room. Green soap and a washcloth. I use a smaller bucket to pour water over my body and the cool water is so nice in the hot weather. My towel smells funny, but so does most things. It smells like mildew or sweat or fish or dirt or poop or burning. I hope I remember the cooking coconut smell when I return and not the other smells. I am never completely dry. My towel is never completely dry. Nothing is every completely dry. My vitamins are dissolving.
Cecilia or Dan bring me breakfast on a tray. There is a tea bay in my cup, a bowel of sugar, a thermos of hot water, a tin of milky cream, several slices of bread with ground nut paste, an omlette and a bowel of pineapple. I have no appetite and my stomach is upset anyway so I eat the pineapple and bag the bread for lunch. The lipton tea is a savoir even though it is too hot to drink such things. Sometimes Cecilia gives me cake or canned pickled macaroni stuff for breakfast. I drink a lot of water, around five to six litres a day. I feel bad about drinking so much. Water is such a hassle to haul and buy.
At six thirty Dan and I head to Madina by tro tro, not a bus and not a taxi but transportation just the same. We have never gotton to Madina the same way twice so I am still confused about how to get to this village. There are no set scheduals in Ghana and sometimes a tro tro comes and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes we get to Kingsley's house by seven and sometimes we don't arrive until eight thirty. Tro tros cost around 1000 to 2000 cedis. A man called a mate operates the door and takes money. I am an aspiring mate. A mate yells out the destination as the tro tro hurtles down the road. The mate is painfully hard to understand and Accra sounds like acracracracracra and Madina sounds like markemarkemarke.
We all meet at Kingsley's, sometimes Alex, Prince, Charlie or Eben are there. We hang around and rarely leave the house before ten. We catch a tro tro back towards Frafraha to Adomrobe. The ride is long but I savor it because the wind blows through the open window and cools me off and I am left to my thoughts. There are few stops on the way and the road is ungodly bumpy.
At the site, past volunteers have already filled lots of "rubber bags" with "sand" We are doing the same thing soon to be planted with Lycenae trees. The days are hot, the nights are hot. I am always hot. We work slowly if at all and after at least two hours we head home. The commute is long and we walk at least forty minutes both ways.
Kingsley shops at the market on the way back home and we help him prepare a three or four oclock lunch as it were. Eventually, Dan and I head home and end up walking half the way because tro tros are dodgy and taxies are too expensive. I fall into bed exhaused from heat and read or listin to music. I practice my guitar or talk with Cecilia. It is dark around six but the noise continues well into the night. On days when we don't work and I don't go to cape coast and get horribly sick, I sit at home and read or knit or play the guitar.

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