Monthly Archives: October 2013

50th Post

In honor of my 50th post on this blog, I recently sat down and wrote 50 random things I’ve learned from Ghana.

  1. Always greet.
  2. Unless you are going to the restroom or throwing something away
  3. Different greetings in Ewe literally translate to, “Did you wake up?” and “Are you alive?”
  4. Utensils are very optional, even when eating rice. Rice
  5. And when eating with your hands only use your right.
  6. You drink, not eat oatmeal.
  7. Therefore, oatmeal is a substitute for tea. Seriously, don’t order both oatmeal and tea for breakfast.
  8. Everything can be carried on your head, including machetes and chainsaws.
  9. A man’s primary responsibility in a household is to produce children.
  10. Women mostly take care of everything else, including cooking, cleaning, paying school fees, etc.
  11. Health insurance cost about 7 bucks a year.
  12. I can get a fully tailored suit for 70 bucks.
  13. Ghanaians are crazy about their national football team, the Black Stars, and always remind me they beat the U.S. in the past two World Cups.
  14. Stone chippings are valuable, so people spend hours cracking stones.
  15. A simple construction project often takes decades to complete.
  16. Ghana has an abundance of cocoa, yet it is a chocolate wasteland. CocoaSeeds
  17. There are two main seasons in Ghana: rainy season and dry (hot) season.
  18. But my favorite season is “mango season”.
  19. Oranges are peeled with a knife.
  20. They are eaten by cutting the top off and squeezing the juice into your mouth.
  21. Spiders are your friend.
  22. Mosquitoes are your enemy.
  23. In fact, every illness is attributed to malaria.
  24. Insects are edible.
  25. The only critter you should be really scared of is a snake.
  26. Many people think washing your hands after eating is more important than before.
  27. You cook sitting down.
  28. It’s acceptable to throw your trash anywhere, especially the bush.
  29. The “bush” is any part of outside of town where nobody lives.
  30. It’s not rude to call someone “old man”, “white man”, “black man”, etc.
  31. AVA is a global phenomenon. AVA
  32. I really miss washing machines.
  33. I can make small children cry on command just by being white.
  34. Prepaid phone plans are great!
  35. Electricity typically goes off everyday.
  36. A drinking bar is called a spot.
  37. A restaurant is called a chop bar.
  38. Obama has his own food line.
  39. ObamaBiscuitsAnd clothing line (Obama underwear. Sorry no photos).
  40. Due to inflation, the decimal point on the Ghana cedi was moved 4 places to the left a few years ago.
  41. Many people have yet to adjust, and as a result, 1 (new) cedi is still referred to 10,000 (old) cedis.
  42. Transportation costs have increased 50% since I’ve been in Ghana.
  43. A taxi isn’t full unless you have 4 people in the back and possible 2 in the passenger seat.
  44. Checkers is called draft. Drafts
  45. Underwear is called pants and pants are called trousers.
  46. The same can be said about coffee.
  47. Make sure you finish your run by 7am or the sun will beat you.
  48. There are plenty of people in senior high school that are older than me.
  49. Few people know the difference between Europe and America.
  50. Despite and because of all these, I love Ghana.