Today started early with breakfast which for me was some of the BEST Oatmeal I every had...Its was so creamy and smooth I had to go back for seconds!!!
I met up with the group at 9:00 am for lecture sections which included:
- Challenges of staying in Ghana
- Important Ghanaian Values/Contrasting American Values
- Introduction to Twi (the language)
- Language and Communication
- African Music Lecture
- Sex, Drugs and Alcohol
These were really informative and well conducted lectures that shared so much about the culture that I personally would not have known just coming here as a tourist. Some of the Key elements I took away from spending the day in the lectures are:
Languages in Ghana
- There are 10 regions in Ghana, Akan is spoken in 6 of them
- 49.1% of the population use Twi as their language
- Most Ghanians speak at least 3 languages
English is the official language of Ghana
AKAN- Divided into two main groups
- Twi (chw)
Maakye- (maa chee) Goodmorning
Maaha - Good afternoon
Maadwo (mah joe)- Good evening
Madasse' - thank you
Me Pa Kyew - Please
Hissing - is used to get someone's attention/ to call a Taxi
The tongue Click - means yes or I agree
- When you enter the room, space or area you must speak first. It is considered rude/insulting to walk by someone and not speak.
- There is a customary handshake that causes you to snap your fingers
- It is TABOO to use your LEFT HAND in public! never use to greet, wave, eat or pass money.
- There is absolutely NO PERSONAL SPACE!!! They readily touch, grab and lead you with such confidence and generosity.
- Traditionally you call an older woman Mom or Auntie
- You are expected to smile!!
Challenges of staying in Ghana
- Random Power outages: we are having one as I type this entry. My lodge is running on a generator and I have a WiFi adaptor to allow me to blog. Dinner and Dance class was all by candle light this evening. The people don't complain they just make do! "it is well" they say.
- Random water outages: we experienced this yesterday. There is a large garbage bin filled with water, next to it is a bucket. You fill the bucket with water and once you go to the restroom you pour the water down to flush. It wasnt as bad as I thought and by late evening the water was running again and all was well.
- The dirt is alive!!! This is a tropical enviroment and there are all kinds of bugs and living things thriving in the elements. You have to be aware of this and not have food and garbage lieing around.
- Drink plenty of bottled water! wear sunprotection! Rest between the hours of 12pm - 3pm when the sun is the hottest. Ghana is right next to the equator
- The people here see Americans as RICH/ Fortunate- you have to be mindful of your ways as to not to offend nor do you want to be taken advantage of. The Ghanaians are lovely people but they are also economically challenged and will hustle you for a few extra cedi if possible.
All I can say is the music is the spirit of the people. To hear them sing and play instruments in so transforming. You are literally wisked away into another dimension. It is absolutely beautiful to be in the presence of these moments, it pulls from very deep within, you know these are your roots and you feel yourself being drawn in.