Ghana comes with its own fan club for any obroni (white person). Children above a certain age are just thrilled to see these natural wonders and to practice their English. The two lines that every single Ghanaian child knows are “How are you?” and “I’m fine.” Sometimes it comes out all at once “How are you I’m fine” and sometimes it comes out separately, as an enthusiastic question or response. They’re never great, or good, or ok, or happy, or so-so, or not so good. They are fine. Of course, all that I know how to say in Krobo, the language spoken in the region where the study is taking place, is something along the lines of “Kinge keh?” and “Inge saminya” (phonetic, in an error-prone way); or, “how are you?” and “I’m fine.”
Children above a certain age are also eager to pose for the photographs that obronis inevitably take and tend to squeal with delight and make fun of one another when they see the screen of a digital camera.
Children below a certain age tend to look from my face, to their mom’s face, to my face… and then burst into tears, no matter how harmless I attempt to appear. Less exciting.