“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure”

I know it is Wednesday, my day off from Coffee, but I thought I’d post a short entry today to keep up the suspense for tomorrow’s episode of Kat’s Travels to Africa.

This morning I woke up at six so my body is beginning to adjust to US time.  I went outside on the deck as I usually do just to get the feel of the morning. It seemed chilly to me, damp from the morning dew. It was and is still quiet with only the birds greeting the day. I saw a grey squirrel at one of the feeders, but I haven’t been home long enough to wish for a weapon.

Let me tell you about mornings in Ghana, especially in Bolga where I spent five days. The air is cool, and this time of year, the rainy season, there is a small breeze. I was awake by 6 and usually went outside to see the beginning of the day. Smoke rose from fires, and I could smell the wood charcoal.  I watched carts being pulled and pushed by small boys on their way to market. Women carried market goods on their heads as they walked along the sides of the streets. I could hear a mix of voices, conversations in FraFra, horns blowing as cars, mostly taxis, made their way up the street. The horn is an official symbol of Ghana or at least it seemed that way to me. Not moving for a nanosecond on a green light meant horns up and down the row were going to be beeped in impatience. I heard a few of those. I could see women sitting in front of the fires stirring huge pots with metal spoons. They were making soup for their morning T-Zed, tuo zaafi, a thick porridge made from millet flour which is eaten by tearing off a chunk, always with your right hand, and dipping it into a soup. In restaurants they bring a bowl of water and some soap so you can wash your hand before and after. I had some for dinner one night with a light soup and some chicken. It was in Ghana I learned to like okra, even with all that slime, but I never did become a morning T-Zed eater. I always had eggs, toast and instant coffee with evaporated milk. While I was in Bolga, I bought fruit so I could have a bowl of cut fruit instead of the eggs. I tried the eggs fried, scrambled and in an omelet, but the eggs tasted exactly the same no matter how they were cooked. The fruits were sweet and delicious.

I was usually dressed and finished with my breakfast by 8. I’d figure out my day and call Thomas, my driver, to come so we could begin our day’s adventure.

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16 Comments on ““One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I especially oves mornings when I am abroad and this sounds like a morning I would love to experiense 🙂

    Strange that the eggs tasted just the same no matter how they were cooked 🙂 🙂

    I´ve never eaten okra but I have tried to grow it when I had my garden centre. Just impossible 🙂 There is no pest that doesn´t get and finally one just tosses it outside 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      I have always loved mornings in Ghana. When I lived there, the small children walked through the school grounds on their way to the primary school just outside the front gate. They always stopped to say good morning.

      I haven’t eaten okra since-it needs T-Zed or fufu to make it appealing.

  2. splendid Says:

    isn’t it amazing how on vacation you never want to miss a minute, especially sleeping! Thanks for sharing with us on your day off, we’ve missed you and your storytelling! 🙂
    xooxoxox

    • Kat Says:

      splendid,
      I was so busy all day I was exhausted early so it was the early to bed…I don’t think I was awake any later than 9 except the first night or two.

      I have been up so early since my return I thought a morning muse was in order.

  3. Bob Says:

    Wherever I travel I always try to eat the local fare. That’s the fun of traveling to different countries and different cultures. Okra is not my favorite vegetable for the same reason that you mentioned. However, I love eating seafood gumbo in the southern part of Louisiana. Also deep fried Okra is very good. The Okra obviously came to our shores from Africa with the slave trade.

    I would love to travel to Asia but I will not eat things like cat, dog, insects or chicken feet. Somethings I will eat as long as no one tells me which part and of what kind of animal is in the dish.

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      I always had to buy my chicken alive. After its demise, it was plucked and cut into parts.The feet boiled in water made the best broth.

      I ate bush meat for a year and a half before I found out it was grasscutter, a giant rodent also called the cane rat and in French the agouti. It is delicious meat but getting difficult to find so Ghana is trying to encourage its growth as a farm-bred animal.

      I never ask what I am eating. If it tastes good, go with it has always been my motto.

      Never will I eat an animal like a cat or a dog. I’ve had insects, but they’re not on my list of favorites.


  4. Tally ho the driver. Don’t you wish it were the case here? That would make my vacation, having a driver to take me around and wait with the car. I’m not too sure I would like breakfast there. But if you were up at six a.m I wonder how early the women stirring the pot were up?

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      It cost an arm and a leg as companies didn’t like their cars going north where the roads left something to be desired, but I didn’t care. It was well worth the money. I’d just call and tell Thomas to come and pick me up. I think I was born to live that way!

      The roosters started around dawn which is when the ladies were up and about. My dirt was being brushed by 6 so I figure 5 was when they women rose each morning.

  5. Hedley Says:

    Welcome home Kat, you were missed. We know you fired up the Nikon, how about posting some of your favorite picture?

    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, My Dear Hedley

      The pictures are next on my list as most other unpacking and stowing are done. I took more in 3 weeks than I had my entire two years. Love that Nikon!

  6. Zoey & Me Says:

    Pictures? You have pictures?

  7. Rick Oztown Says:

    Well, if you get too impatient to dole ’em out (the photos), then I recommend Picasa or Flickr with links to your posts. That way, you can aim us at as many as you wish or the whole collection over and over.

    Still hard to believe you’re back.

    • kat Says:

      Rick,
      After I had psoted several pictures, they disappeared. I tried again and hiot a road block so I went over to Flickr and uploaded but was told I had filled my allotment for a month or maybe a week, I forget which.

      I too find it hard to believe I’m back already. If I had known how wonderful the trip was going to be, I’d have stayed at least one more week.

  8. Rick Oztown Says:

    Hi, Kat,
    Well, I mentioned both Picasa and Flickr. I am not very familiar with posting on Flickr. I am sorry you exceeded your limit, but there is a huge difference between a week and a month, so it might behoove you to document which they refer to.
    If you upload all your photographs at their full size (you probably had your camera set to generate photos of size greater than 2 megabytes per photo), it is easy to understand how a free service might get choked quickly.
    You have a couple of choices:
    1. pay for the service to enable more storage space
    2. shrink the size somewhat to enable more photos to be stored for free.
    If you want to use #1, then carefully read what you’re paying for.
    If you want to use #2, you probably want to go to Picasa to store the remainder of the photos. I’m guessing you are either tired or something, since you failed to notice the original limitation when you signed up for Flickr service.
    I recommend Irfanview to allow a mass reduction in size of the photos in your collection from your trip. I also HIGHLY recommend that you back up your collection to some external drive BEFORE you begin to resize the photos, just in case you write over the original photos. You will have to read the Irfanview documentation, but the process is pretty darned easy to use. If you want to copyright the photos or even claim ownership, Irfanview allows that documentation to be stored inside the image files in the same way that newspaper photographers now store that information. You can find that under Image | Information | IPTC info. Remember, all software has a learning curve. To put it another way, famous science fiction author Robert Heinlein said, TANSTAAFL. There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
    I’m certainly available for help and consultation in your project.

    • kat Says:

      Rick,
      Thanks for all the suggestions, but I went with what was easy: paying Flickr for the additional space.

      I have an external hard drive which backs up all my photos and music. Losing them once was enough. These photos are still in my camera-I just copied them to the computer. I also want to copy them to my Mac later.

      I haven’t ever heard of Irfanview but I’ll check it out. I like that it stores the copywrite.


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