Today we went for what we thought would be a simple walk to a fruit stand with our housekeeper, Hannah, who is Ghanian! We needed some fresh fruit for a dinner we are hosting tonight.
This is how the kids started out:
Then in a surprise turn of events we crossed a road (still following the lead of Hannah, who is also new to this area of Accra) and boarded a TroTro (a local way of getting around – essentially it is a small van with three rows – it is very cheap and travels along a set path with frequent stops). We thought we would go just a few stops and get off (this was our first time riding a TroTro).
But the fruit stand she was looking for was not on the street we were traveling – so we continued on the TroTro all the way to the heart of Accra to find another one she was familiar with. Meanwhile we are packed into the TroTro with all three kids sitting on my lap and equally surprised and upset by the new experience – there was of course no AC, no seat belts and only space for the adults on the seat.
We got off at a major stop, called 37 (for the military hospital that is nearby) and were at a market that had multiple nice fruit stands.
After all three kids had a cold drink in hand (I’ve decided that in this hot of an environment the occasional soda is a worthy cause) we were ready to shop for fruit.
I did not bring much extra cash (because I thought we were just walking down the road, lesson learned!) So back on the TroTro to get home! The children ride the TroTro for free (on laps of course) so the total cost for round trip was 8 cedis (slightly less than $2 US).
Hannah carried all our fruit on her head on the walk home from the TroTro (just under a mile) and I carried a very tired Abby on my back!
I can’t believe how much I LOVED this experience. It was very Ghanian! As “Obronis” (white people) it is easy to do much here in a modified way of what we would normally do in the States – call Uber, drive a car or rent a taxi to get places. And there was something magical about stepping out of what we were comfortable with and squeezing between many Ghanaians in the back of the TroTro, piling the kids on my lap and going off to buy fruit.
It also struck me how generous the Ghanians were with my children – I bought two sodas and the shopkeeper gave us a bottle of water “as a gift”, the fruit vendor gifted us some chives and Hannah gifted us a bag of plantain chips (that helped the kids survive the TroTro drive home). I am blessed and honored and invigorated by this unexpected blessing of an afternoon!