One of the most popular foods people make in Ghana is fufu. I've had it a few times at homestay, and I'm sure I will be eating a lot more of it. Fufu is basically mashed up cassava or yam or rice, or a combination of those, which is formed into a sticky ball. It is served with soup, and to eat it, you grab a piece of fufu and dip it in the soup. Auntie Rose has made a groundnut soup (groundnut paste, tomato, meat, pepe, oil) whenever she has served me fufu. I actually really like it, even though it is very filling and it expands in your stomach. Another dish I have had is cabbage soup- cabbage, chicken, mackerel, tomato, pepe, green peppers, greens beans, oil- and that is very good too! I think just about everything I have had is made of tomato, pepe, mackerel and chicken, with a huge side of starches and carbs- rice, yams, plantains, cassava.
The first Sunday of homestay was another free day, but it really wasn't a free day for me- it was a very busy day! First thing in the morning, all 12 of us in Anyinasin went to meet the chief at his "palace." All of our homestay moms met us there, and as each of us introduced ourselves to the chief one by one, our moms came up with us. My mom is the chief's granddaughter...soo basically I'm royalty. We exchanged gifts of "schnapps" (a very potent alcohol, similar to rubbing alcohol), then the chief said prayers for a successful service and welcomed us into his village, saying we were now a part of the community.
After meeting the chief, it was time for church. My mom insisted that I go, so I didn't argue, I will go once! I got on my nice white dress and walked to this open cement structure where the Presby church meets. All the women wear beautiful white dresses with black designs, and the men wear big sheets around them (like togas). There was a lot of singing and dancing to music provided my the choir and high-school aged band (three trumpets, two trombones, and a tomtom, bass drum, snare and cymbals). The service was about 2 1/2 hours...it was all in Twi except for a few English phrases he threw out there for me, and based on that I think the service was about the importance of paying your taxes and about being a good Christian.
After a snack of bananas and groundnuts back at the house, I did my laundry! Luckily I was able to do it in peace, no one came to help and no one watched and laughed as I scrubbed my clothes. Next we went to the funeral (s). Apparently, there were three funerals in town that weekend- one of the ladies was 110 and one was 93. Funerals last all weekend here in Ghana, Friday through Sunday. There is a covered meeting area in the middle of town where chairs where set up, with an open dancing area in the middle, and a DJ and announcer, who talked a lot. I didn't completely understand what he was saying, or what was going on, but I think money was being collected for the three people who died. At one point, Josh from New York, Mary from South Carolina, Caitlin from Oklahoma and me got up to dance- all of the women loved it, and it made my mom homestay mom really happy! Everyone loves watching us dance, and I bet it looks really funny! I've already kind of gotten used to dancing with thousands of eyes on me.
Eventually it started to rain. And when it rains here in Ghana, everything stops. You don't do anything, you don't go anywhere, you just huddle under the tin roof of a store and wait until it stops. So when it started to rain, my mom and I went to her sister's store and drank a Guinness. Almost everyday since we arrived it has rained. It starts at all times of the day and night, but usually it only lasts for about 30 minutes. Its also very humid, and if you get stuck it the sun, it is hot! The sun rays are very intense, so you sweat instantly! At night it sometimes can cool down and feel nice, but a lot of the time I don't think the temperature changes much from day to night.
And after last weekend, I have decided that I am now "married." Marriage proposals started to flood in on Sunday, and I really would rather not deal with it at all....so I just switched my ring to my ring finger, and tell everyone I left my husband back in California! If you say you're single, men will just bombard you with proposals and attention- and I don't want any of that. So now I need to come up with a good lie, so if anyone has suggestions for a name for my "husband" and maybe a career and anything else, write me a letter!