Of teeth and trashbags

The family who is hosting us return to the US for the summer today.  We had a momentous final night together, as the seven-year-old lost her tooth!  While the tooth fairy left five cedis (about $3.50), she forgot the tooth! Her parents hypothesize that it is because the tooth fairy wishes to give our toothless friend some American dollars too.

Matt and I ventured out in the rain to walk around the Jamestown area of Accra last weekend.  Already getting a lot of looks for being white people walking around in the rain rather than riding by in the shelter of a cab, we continued to attract people and were asked for money by a “tour guide” and two “security guards” during our couple of hours there. You can read more about this on Matt’s blog.  We walked around the outside of a former slave castle, heard Christian prayers being spoken over loudspeakers, saw a coast that alternated between smooth sand and layers of trash and sewage, and saw soccer games taking place in every possible location; in streets empty due to the lack of traffic on Sundays, in abandoned buildings, in small courtyards, and in nicer stretches of beach.

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As we were leaving, we stood on a corner for a while deciding what to do next.  I saw what I thought was a pile of belongings protected from the rain under a trash bag move, revealing instead a young woman with a baby under a trash bag to avoid the rain.  I’ve wondered since then how it would have gone over if I had walked over to hand her 10 cedis, or 20 cedis, or a package of biscuits and some milk; I’ve thought that next time I should find out.

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