Accra Ghana Temple

Accra Ghana Temple
Accra Ghana Temple

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interesting New Things To Buy at the Store

I suppose every place has the basics you would buy at a grocery store. Coming from the United States, there are those food items that I would normally expect to find. We can't find any of them here; such as, cottage cheese, Quaker Oats, buttermilk, sour cream, chocolate chips, bacon, turkey, ham, and Fritos to name a few.

However, what a wonderful opportunity to learn about new things! Plantains, casava root, African yams (they are white and not sweet), Jungle Oats, Chakalaka in a can, TEXAS rice, Lion soup mix, Tiger/Tiger boiled chick peas, Blue Dragon Sweet and Sour sauce, hot vegetable curry in a can, Jungle energy crunch (granola), boxed milk on the shelf (not refrigerated until open), and many more interesting things and fun names.

My kitchen pantry and freezer look like a United Nations food supply. We have ice cream from Belgium, jam from the Netherlands, boxed milk from France, frozen chickens from Brazil, Satay sauce from Malaysia, canned vegetables and fruit from South Africa and coconut milk from England. The drinkable yogurt (like is common in Europe) and fresh milk are actually from here in Cantonments, Accra, Ghana.

We've eaten out a few times. Mama Mia's Italian Restaurant is great and one of their specialties is Peter Pan Pizza (no peanut butter, just toppings not all of which were identifiable). I took the safer route and just ordered swordfish; the portion completely covered my entire plate. It was fabulous. We went to Le Magellans (French/European) and had a wonderful seafood platter. We passed on the escargot - we've seen snails here that are the size of baseballs. Locals sell them on the side of the road.  We enjoyed some great Irish stew at Ryan's Pub. We are looking forward to eating at Captain Hook's Seafood and Chickin Lickin (apparently a fast food restaurant).

We are actually eating well, just different. Gregg, however, is now 20 days without potato chips or soda. His hands have quit shaking and he seems fine (just kidding).

Arrival in Accra on 20 July 2010

Thirty-five years after Gregg and I got engaged (to the day), we moved to Africa. Arriving in Accra, Ghana for the second time at Katoka International wasn't nearly as daunting. The best news is that June, July, and August seem to be the best time to be in Ghana. The breeze blows off the ocean dropping the temperature to the low to mid 80s.

I was prepared for the lines at immigration, but not for the disappointment that 3 of our 4 bags did not make the connection in Atlanta. Our flight was 3 hours delayed departing Salt Lake, and we literally had to run to a different terminal in Atlanta to make our flight to Accra. As we arrived at the departure gate we could here our names being paged overhead, and as we stepped into the plane they closed the door. Had we missed that flight, it would have delayed us two days.

After filing the paperwork for our missing luggage, we filed more paperwork for our "unaccompanied household goods" which had been air freighted to Ghana, hopefully waiting for us somewhere.

A wonderful missionary couple, Linda and Arlyn Peterson were there to meet us and took us to our home and provided us with a wonderful hot dinner that night. Without a change of clothes, Gregg resigned himself to the fact that he could not go to work without his white shirt and tie. Fortunately, our bags arrived the next day, but what an experience to reclaim them! We took our paperwork to a customs office remote from the international airport. We parked in a dirt parking lot and worked our way to the customs office. We were led into a room filled with luggage; we were asked to identify our bags amongst the sea of lost bags. The customs official acted like they were going to open each of our bags for inspection, then looked at us and sighed, saying words to the effect, "neither one of us really want to do this." She had us sign for the bags and released us. We then worked our way past the many people who wanted to help us with our bags, for a small fee.

We were fortunate that our household shipment arrived about the same time we did and was delivered Friday, August 23rd. A long flatbed truck arrived with three large wooden crates. They pried off one end of each box with a crow bar. Then about 8 porters hauled the individual cardboard boxes into the house, mostly on top of their heads. They were all speaking a local dialect and we couldn't understand a word they said. It truly made us feel like we were on safari. As we did not ship much, the assimilation of our goods into our home went quickly and helped us to "settle in." I'm sure this will "feel" like home soon.