Volunteer Spotlight: Market

We had the opportunity to travel to market with Miriam, one of the older girls from the house who is in the P6 class.   We left the house at around 9:30 am and walked to the top of the hill through the Takofiano neighborhood to catch a taxi.  With us we brought a basket to keep the goods.  It was necessary for us to have Miriam as a guide through the labyrinth of the market and also as a translator to help us barter for lower prices.

The taxi dropped us off in the middle of the market.  The market was everything we had heard and more.  It was full of people and booths containing every item imaginable.  We had a list of items we wanted to buy including onions, green peppers, carrots, beans, rice, eggs, oil, and oatmeal.  The vegetables were much cheaper than we expected.  All of the vegetables came to be around 5 dollars US.  We purchased 15 eggs for around two dollars.

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I also wanted to purchase a traditional African tunic.  A man was trying to help me buy one and I had to try to tell him that I did not want one of the many used westernized shirts that have been imported from America.  I finally found a blue, white, and black striped, hand woven tunic which they referred to as a fugu or smok, that I liked and fit me well.  It came to 30 cedi which was much more expensive than I had planned, but I really needed another shirt to wear.

We were fortunate to have Miriam with us to negotiate prices to ensure we were not getting ripped off.  We walked all across the market multiple times picking items up from the best places.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it and we consequently covered a lot of ground.  We spent a full hour and a half at the market in total.  It was an exhausting experience.  Taxis and cargo trucks constantly honk their horns to tell people to move out of the way on small busy streets.  This is better still then men with overfilled wheelbarrows and women carrying large loads on their heads that plow through the streets without giving you warning.

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Loretta and I are also more of a spectacle walking through the market.  Many people shout at us and run up to touch us.  We get many marriage proposals from random strangers that want us to take them to America.


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