Yevubolo

Tea bread, or maybe it’s sugar bread.

Yevubolo literally translates to white man (yevu) bread (bolo) in Ewe and ironically it is just about the only type of bread you can find here. I have yet to see whole grain, whole wheat, or rye. The yevubolo comes in many different shapes, sizes, and variations. Typically at the market a small loaf costs GH¢1.00 and a large loafs costs GH¢2.00. Some of the different various are sugar bread, salt bread, and tea bread. However, they all look and taste the same to me. I like to think the yevubolo is a step up from Wonder Bread, because it is baked fresh without many preservatives (as with most of the food here). The Yevubolo is usually eaten at breakfast with tea (hence tea bread) or oats.

The main reason I wanted to write about yevubolo is because oddly it is part of the culture here. Whenever someone from my community sees me leaving the village they tell me to buy yevubolo for them. For example, it’s about a five minute walk from my house to the only paved road that runs through my village and during this walk I will always get at least a few people to tell me to buy yevubolo for them. This isn’t just my community hazing the new white guy either, anytime anyone leaves town someone will ask him/her to buy yevubolo. It’s almost a way of telling someone to have a safe trip.

Do I ever buy yevubolo for someone? For the most part, no. I don’t want to set a bad precedent that my measly living allowance can’t support. However, it is considered a nice gesture bring back yevubolo for someone when you return from a trip. For instance, when I first arrived in my community I brought some yevubolo for my landlord.

 

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About Ryan

I'm serving in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months. View all posts by Ryan

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