Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Ghana is any day-as-usual except for us obruni’s!

As you can imagine, I scrambled to find a turkey at our special markets in Accra. Yes, I have seen a few turkeys walking around (just as we see goats, chickens and sheep) but not often. I figured they would be available in the market but turkey is very expensive here.

My first shop in Osu was Koala (a pricey grocery store with UK and US products) and the one frozen turkey was about 30 lbs and cost over $100 (168 cedes)! No way! We were set to cook chicken when I found an imported turkey (from ?) at a ShopRight Store in Accra weighing about 20 lbs and costing about $28 (42 cedes). Just in time!

Dinner was fabulous….no cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie….but otherwise a typical Thanksgiving dinner…homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Desert was fresh fruit salad. A neighbor came by to visit. Alberta is a U.S. citizen who has returned to Ghana after working in home health care for 25 years (New York and Boston). She decided to return to Ghana (her birthplace) as the U.S. has “become so stressful”. Alberta is delightful and we shared stories until it was finally time to face the dishes! A typical Thanksgiving, right?

Our staff was a little curious about our holiday and it seems that they have their “Farmers Thanksgiving” next Friday. In fact, we have been invited to the Global Evangelical Church “Annual Harvest & Thanksgiving Service” next week.

Syambra’s mother, JJ arrived for a 2 week visit. I am equally enjoying her company and it is fun to be around someone who remembers Van Morrison. the 60′s, 70′s and even being kids when the milkman delivered the milk to our doors! It was like having “Christmas come early” because JJ brought maple syrup, raisins, more episodes of “24” and the HUGE sized container of Q-Tips! (There is a similar product of cotton on a stick here but it is scarce and expensive.)

Syambra and JJ are off shopping today…looking for Kente cloth and other African fabrics. Not exactly a Black Friday! But there will be a lot of discounts!

Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” Campaign in Ghana

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Last Saturday Syambra and I participated in Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” Campaign in Ghana. Normally, as a Rotarian I would donate at my local Rotary (District 5890 in Houston) but now I belong to District 9100 in Accra. We actually get to participate in the immunizations! Two drops on the child’s tongue is all it takes…plus a little black ink on their fingernail to mark the vaccination.
We actually went to some of the villages where our women clients live but we also went way back into the smaller, more remote villages as well. Overall, the goal was over 50,000 vaccines over a 3 day period.