Monday, September 27, 2010

Takoradi Market

Takoradi is not a tourist city, so its market circle in the center of the city was not for souvenir shopping, but for what Ghanaians need in everyday life.  .  As we made our way through the maze of stalls vending spices, clothing, meat, dried fish, you name it…we spotted some Giant African Snails. 

The lady selling them tried to get us to buy some until we explained that we had no place to cook them – as if we would’ve cooked up a pot if we’d had a stove. 

Kathy “got” to hold one…

It was rainy and we were invited into the stall run by  three sisters who have a small business that sells “gare” – ground, roasted cassava that is used to make a polenta-like porridge to be eaten with soups or meats.  It was nice to get out of the rain and interesting to chat with the ladies.  They let us sample the gare and gamely answered any questions we had.  We purchased some spices – things we used in the cooking class – from them and thanked them for their hospitality.
Pretty much anything you can think of for outfitting a house is sold all over.  You might drive along a road and see a sofa or toilet (all new) for sale right along the edge of the road.  Cuts down on business overhead for sure!
As we walked through Takoradi, we saw many interesting items.  I liked the reuse of wheels for these gas burners:

Kathy has many connections around the world thanks to her position with U of O.  We met with a Pastor who is a colleague of a U of O alum.  All we wanted was some advice on where to find some things, but instead he drove us around and helped us find them.  He helped us find the shea butter that we’d walked by several times and showed us a Western grocery store where we hoped to buy some Ghanaian chocolate.  That’s when we found out that they have a shortage because a large factory is being renovated.  Pastor Henry then took us to look at some crafts which are in pretty short supply in Takoradi.  I did get a pair of sandals that have some tire on the bottom.  What we all enjoyed was the “maximum load” info.  Pastor Henry cracked up when I said that if you surpass the maximum load and blow a sandal, you know it is time for a diet.  He was an easy audience.

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