In addition to a cold shower…..
There are small things that one grows to appreciate in equatorial Africa – the happy coincidence of shade and a breeze at 2:00 in the afternoon, three meals a day under clear, blue skies on the your patio, cooling off as you splash dirty clothes in the wash-bucket, the price of tomatoes (20 cents for 2 dozen), the omnipresent, distant thunk-thunk-thunk of mortar and pestle as yam and cassava are pounded into fufu for dinner, the strength and willowy grace of women walking from well to home with a full basin of water settled atop the head, perpetually contented babies sleeping while tied on mother’s back, the absorption of three toddlers playing together with a a single spoon and bowl.
Thanks to a good harvest this fall, families have enough food to keep the hunger pangs at bay for a while. The result is a sense of contentment in the knowledge that this should not be a particularly difficult dry season, but a year where most families will have enough food for two meals per day in the hottest and dryest months of April-July. Market days are bustling with women in the market selling surplus beans and grains to raise money for children’s school fees/uniforms. In this area of subsistence farming, many children must wait to start school until some of the harvest is sold. In addition, if at all possible, money is often set aside for the purchase of Ghanaian health insurance cards. Health insurance for one year costs $20/family; a challenge when average annual income is $400/year.