So I got it in my head last week that we needed a field trip during homeschool. Combine that with the fact I’ve been itching to experience the huge outdoor market in Accra (called Makola market) – I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids to the market (with Hannah, our housekeeper, of course!).
Now, we have been to a variety of smaller markets – but this is considered the epitome of all markets in Ghana. In fact, most of the roadside stands and small stalls we see and buy things from along the side of the road get their goods at the Makola market and then come sell their wares in residential neighborhoods (for a slightly increased price).
This was definitely an experience none of us will forget. But I’m pretty sure none of my kids will say this was their favorite field trip either.
We hired an Uber to take us there (so I didn’t have to worry about parking). You can already see one of my kids didn’t think this was a great idea. 😉
Here is the market.
The pictures do not even do justice to the all-encompassing experience. The air was hot and sticky and smelled strongly of smoked fish. The aisles were narrow and filled with people walking both ways carrying large loads on their heads. Everywhere people were calling out to us, “Obroni” (that means white person or foreigner in Twi) and wanting to touch our arms. It was loud with lots of laughter and sweat. Everywhere we looked there were things to buy and people bumping into us.
We only made it to a very small section of the market (in our 3 hours there!!).
One section was filled with fruits and vegetables and fish and meat.
Others were filled with colorful fabric.
(Abby decided to carry her fabric on her head like a Ghanian 🙂
Other sections were filled with kitchen goods, shoes, used clothing from the U.S. (that is hilariously called “Obroni Wahru” – meaning dead white man) and more. I’m told you can find anything you need there, but you have to look. And we had three kids with us. And it was a totally, new experience for the four of us.
The kids literally had to all hold on to me so we would stay together. (And even though I’d prepped them, they weren’t big fans of everyone wanting to touch them.)
We took a soda break partway through.
And there were moments when my youngest decided she would go no further. (This is frustrating in and of itself, but imagine what happens at a very busy street market that is literally packed with sellers and a constant stream of people walking carrying large loads on their heads = traffic jam caused by a 4 year old!) Ghanians love children so they all wanted to stop and help (as you can see by the out-stretched hand) but she would have none of it. So…it was time to go.
(and truth be told, we were all exhausted by this point.)
We navigated back to our Uber (which kindly parked and waited for us.) Sat down, which felt glorious! and set to work buying bottled water and plantain chips from hawkers along the side of the road.
Field trip survived.
I would say that was at least a month’s worth of social studies lessons in one afternoon. 🙂