Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Obroni, obroni

Days 16 and 1

Monday and Tuesday were not the most eventful, so I figured I’d knock them both out at once!

Monday morning began very early (we’re talking 6 am), so that I could get ready for my 7:30 am Twi class. Mornings and I get along okay, thank goodness! Especially now that I’ve discovered such delicious teas here that will soon be accompanying me back to the States. I am just loving my Twi class. It’s not as much an extensive intro to the language (after all, we can only cover so much material in six weeks) as it is a crash course on how to get around Ghana without sounding like a total obroni (the Twi word for foreigner).

This time, we learned about how to barter, a skill that is extremely helpful for making purchases at the market and for negotiating with taxi drivers. See, being a clear foreigner, especially one from a developed country, can make it appear as though we have a good deal of money to throw around. So, traders and the like will start by charging about two or three times what the product or service is actually worth. In light of this, Prof Peprah gave us some phrases to use so that we might be cut a little slack in the marketplace, like “Meye osuani, menni sika” which means “I am a student, I don’t have money”. And “Mepaakyew, ne bo ye den. Te me so” which is “The cost is too high. Please, lower it for me.” As I may have mentioned before, what I have noticed here is that the locals seem to appreciate it when we make an effort to speak their language with them. With any luck, I thought maybe I could humor traders into lowering prices with my ridiculous attempt at Twi. Challenge accepted.

That afternoon, I ran into Rna, who was leaving to run a few errands at the Accra Mall. I joined her, thinking this was the perfect opportunity to see if we could negotiate a cheaper trip. After taking a few minutes to rehearse our lines, we hailed the first taxi to come along. It WORKED! We were able to haggle the drivers down from 10 cedis to just 4, not only for the ride there but also the ride home. Not to mention we got a good laugh out of them. It was fun! I am amped to try it in Kumasi this weekend.

The next day, I went to basic school to see my wee ones! These children, man. I can’t get enough of them. Today, I taught them to play Simon Says, during which I got them all to shake their booties while giving themselves finger mustaches. We must have been a sight, hahaha. Other than teaching each other games during recess, there isn’t much for me to do save marking workbooks. Because of this, I spoke with Mrs. Ruby to see if we could coordinate a fifteen minute period each week that I might teach something to the class. This Thursday will be my first attempt, and I plan to bring the kids PB&Js. Are you as amazed as I am that these kids have never tried them? Bread, peanut butter, and jelly are all purchasable at the convenience store down the street, yet I have only ever seen the kids eat rice and beans during their snacktime. PB&Js are such an American staple; I doubt I’ll ever grow sick of them. Ahh, I can’t wait to blow their little minds with the magic that is a PB&J sandwich!

I’ll leave you with a few of the drawings that the kids made for me. I’m not sure who got the first idea to draw me a picture, but ever since then I have received at least one every time I come to class. Adorbz.

I can only hope these are all portraits of me because they are striking!


I'm... I'm not sure what this is.

Finally, I was given a handwritten letter from Nana Ama that reads, "anut (I think she meant "auntie") gabi I like you gabi. it is anut gabi. she is a good teacher. she is good for me. I like anut gabi she is good"

<3 forever. 'Nuff said.
Nante yie!

1 comment:

  1. Those pictures are priceless! It reminds me of "The King and I" and you are Anna, the teacher! They've given you a few different hairstyles. So, so cute!