Today we all woke up around 06:00. Probably too late if we went to sleep at 21:00. It was hard enough to get to bed at night; I didn’t need extra sleep to make it any harder. The schedule for today is Twi lessons at 08:00 for two hours. Then we will help those tutors with their SAT studying. Other than that I will probably be taken around to run some errands to get a phone, modem, and the other essentials.
Two boys showed up at 08:30, which was actually early on Ghana time. They were scheduled to tutor Regina and me. Regina was running behind with something, so we started without her. It seemed like one of the boys had prepared what he would be teaching me and the other one was mainly there to fill in the holes. My lessons went very smoothly because before I left for Ghana, I was taking Twi lessons with people over Skype. One of my friends suggested that I write the words to help me practice the correct pronunciations. My pronunciations were so close that one of the boys yelled “aaayyy,” after I pronounced a difficult word correctly the first time. I still think at this point I just need to practice speaking in a conversation. I’m going to suggest that is what we try to do for the lessons tomorrow. I will also have people available to teach me every day or once a week, whatever I will want to do. Since my main program will be in a village that is where I will be living. Not only will I be able to get a teacher then, but I will be able to practice all day long. I’m really hoping I can become completely fluent.
After the lessons I cut off a piece of bread for breakfast. The break was amazingly sweet. I could have just had that for all my meals. Then Spencer and I left for Kumasi. We Specifically went to a region called Anum. We went to the street and caught a tro tro from Kentin Krono, where we were staying, to Tek, then one from there to Anum. Each Tro Tro is about 50 or 70 peswas. Which means 25 to 35 cents. Pretty good deal, huh? The only downside to it is that you don’t get a seat belt and you have to cope with the car almost breaking down or getting in to near miss accidents. Meh, not too bad. We got into Anum and went to exchange money. I exchanged $100 for 202 Cedi in 10’s. I could have gotten 50’s and 100’s and gotten 210 Cedis, but then it would be very difficult to find people to break those for me. Next, we headed to a local bank to open an account. We sat down with a teller and he was very nice and helpful. The opposite of what I expected. Although I couldn’t open an account until I gave them 6 months of bank records. It was either that or buy a residents pass, which was $100’s. That would also allow me to not have to travel outside of the country to reinstate my passport. But, Expo suggests that I should leave at least that much, just so I keep my spirits high and I don’t catch “village fever.” After the bank account didn’t work we walked around to find some food. I was a little on edge because now I had the money that I had converted, the minimum balance I was supposed to keep in my account, and my passport to open the account. On every street there were deep gutters on either side to flush away the poopy water. The gutters were always between about six inches to a foot wide and would vary from 3 feet deep to about 20 feet deep. You really had to pay attention to your feet or you would end up with a broken leg in sewage that would probably give you giardia.
We got to a fried rice place for lunch. Rice and some kind of meat is probably the most common meal I have seen and heard I will continue to see in Ghana. We ordered and then went and found a seat. On the way to the seat there was a pile of waters in the middle of the room. Waters were kept in plastic pouches that you would bit a corner of and squeeze into your mouth. Only tourists and rich people had water bottles. We sat down and the food was amazing. I practically inhaled it. Then I grabbed a water for the walk and we headed out to the DHL office. There, we found out that if I need something sent to me, then the person sends the mail and puts my number on the label. When they receive the package, they will call me and hold it for me until I pick it up. I’m thinking no one should send me anything important, but that’s just me.