The other morning I woke, went outside where there was a cool morning breeze, I could hear the roosters and smell  charcoal fires from the two compounds right near to my house. I went outside and sat under a baobab tree. Within ten minutes there were about 8 or 9 children all around talking to me. The 3 year old leaned between my legs resting his elbows on the tops of my legs. They laughed and smiled the whole time. Next came the women from the house next door, the house where Franciska’s father lived. They came one at a time and wished me welcome. When I couldn’t answer in FraFra, they taught me. When the next woman came, I answered in FraFra, and she smiled and clapped. Ghanaians love hearing people try to speak their languages.

Yesterday was market day, every third day here. I loaded up on vegetables and fruits. I bought cloth. As I was walking, a white woman walked by, stopped and told me she knew me. She did: we had met last summer. She directed me to the spot a few feet away where the local volunteers were meeting, which they try to do every market day. Nine volunteers are around Bolga in a variety of villages. When I was here, there were only 9 of us in the whole Upper Region: now West and East Upper Regions. I had met a few of them last year, and we chatted quite a while. They wanted to know about Bolga and Peace Corps in the old days. The difference in Bolga is size; the difference in PC is immense as this is a far different world. All of them had been taught FraFra in training and were amazed I had learned Hausa until I explained we were all going to different towns with different languages so Hausa was best for us.

Yesterday I was standing at the gate to the market when the cutest little girl was walking by me her her mother. She looked about 3. I saw her look at me, and I saw the horror on her face. She screamed in fear and hid behind her mother. The girl screamed so much the mother couldn’t walk by me into the market and went the other way. I do have a wonderful way with small girls!

Today I am going with my students but we haven’t decided where yet. I’ll keep you updated!

I am fine but a sweaty mess, not a pretty picture|!




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15 Comments on “Bolgatanga”

  1. Birgit Says:

    Dear coffee / Kat / Ghana followers,
    if interested, a “Bolgatanga Ghana Food Market” video (2007) is on YouTube:

  2. olof1 Says:

    Seeing that video and finding Bolgatanga at Google Earth made me almost feel like I was there, it is nice having a vivid imagination 🙂

    I guess the new volunteers thought You lived primitive compared to them 🙂

    I still haven’t scared any child by just existing 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great continuing of Your trip!


    • Kat Says:

      You have missed a treat by not scaring a little girl! I felt awful!

      I am so glad I am giving you a picture of Ghana, and the market is the same as the video so you are with me,.

      Those volunteers are amazed!

  3. greg mpls Says:

    i think you painted a rather beautiful picture…

  4. Beto Says:

    I was soliciting people for my paper route in 1969. As I approached a door to knock, a woman engrossed in berating her husband threw open the door but was looking back into the house as she stepped out in a hurry. I exclaimed “Pardon me” and she turned and let out a blood curdling scream and lost control of her bladder.
    The old man rushed to the door to see what was happening and started laughing so hard he started choking. Bizarre as it was they signed up for a subscription.

    • Kat Says:

      Thank you for that story. I feel better knowing I am not the only one who scares people by my very existence!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Wow, that video is like walking through the Topsfield Fair at noon on a Saturday. So many people! It would take me a while to adapt to that. Doing the shopping makes me very cranky anyway and the addition of broken field running would only make things worse. 😀

    The children of the morning sounded quite charming. Well, maybe not the poor little girl who screamed.

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn
      No fried dough at that fair! You would be crazy at this market with the heat and all the stalls and people.

      The Ghanaian people are the most wonderful!

  6. Hedley Says:

    And we say a very fond goodbye to Max Bygraves….Singalongamax no more

  7. MT C Says:

    Great video. Wonderful colors and so much chatter. Reminds me of the markets I’ve been to. I guess markets are about the same all over. The ones in the Philippines were everyday and most vendors have the same stalls day after day. But with a two day break, I can see people chatting as much about home and the kids as about business. The village markets in Korea were much the same also. Here? They don’t really have markets as one big event. It is mostly shops and small gatherings and indoor areas behind the grocery stores, but still there are vendors and clients (hopefully) haggling over price or just chatting about the goods on display.

    I have the small girls screaming when they see me, too. And not only the small ones, many of the older ones do too! LOL


    • Kat Says:

      I love the market and when I was here, I always went to the market. I use to sling the live chicken from my motorcycle handbar, I can#t believe all the extra stuff I can buy now-can even have a salad!

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