“Ghana is a country full of vibrancy, color and culture.”

Yesterday I cleaned the deck. I also brought up all the stuff which had had been blown off the deck. Only the clay pot had broken. I was quite surprised that the glass chimney was intact. Yesterday ended up being a lovely day with sun and a cooling breeze. This morning is the same, and the forecast says high 70’s. I can live with that.

We had to wear dresses or skirts to mass every Sunday. We also had to wear hats. I had a mantilla which folded up small enough for my pocket. My favorite was the tissue paper hat worn across the head. It was attached on the sides with bobby pins. I always wondered why those women didn’t have hats. After all, they were a required part of the dress code.

When I went back to Ghana, I brought pants and wore them every day. When I lived there, I wore dresses. I’d go to the market and buy cloth, beautiful colorful cloth, and bring it to a seamstress. For a couple of cedis, think Ghanaian dollars, she’d make me a dress. Some seamstresses added intricate decorative stitching called jeremy though I’m not sure of the spelling. Tie dye was a popular cloth as was batik. The dresses were cooler in the heat than pants. It was also easier to pee in a hole or along the roadside. Pants would have been complicated. In my house, though, I didn’t care. I’d wear shorts or pants but I’d change to go to town.

I used to walk to the market as it was all downhill from my school. Sometimes I’d borrow a bicycle and ride both ways but mostly I walked the bike at the steepest part of the uphill going home. If I were walking home and carrying vegetables in my market bag, some car usually stopped to offer me a ride. I always took it. The school was off the main road but only a little way down a dirt road. There was a gate which the watchman locked at night. If I had been out, I’d have to stand outside the gate and yell for the watchman. Many times I could see him sleeping, but he chose to ignore me. Even his barking dog didn’t get him moving. I’d have to climb the fence, and that was no small feat wearing a dress and sandals.

I have dresses and blouses I had a seamstress make when I went back.  It was fun to shop in the cloth market again. I also have a tablecloth and matching napkins, all with beautiful stitching on the edges. My house is filled with Ghana.

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11 Comments on ““Ghana is a country full of vibrancy, color and culture.””

  1. flyboybob Says:

    John Kennedy killed the men’s hat business except for the cowboy hat and the gimme cap among the rural types. The woman’s millinery business is almost completely dead. I never understood why some woman’s hats had feathers and a veil.

    Of all the modern conveniences indoor plumbing is the one I would least like to give up. Of course dresses are a better choice for woman in third world tropical environments. They are better for cooling, peeing and a coupe of other feminine functions.

    More great weather for the holiday weekend. Hot and dry.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Feathers and a veil were high fashion for women and the hats were expensive.

      JFK just didn’t want to wear that top hat, and I don’t blame him. It seemed sort of silly on his head.

      Women in Ghana now wear pants as well as dresses. I expect they are adept at peeing despite the pants. Even now, for Peace Corps volunteers in many countries, indoor plumbing is sometimes nonexistent. I was lucky mine was outside off the courtyard but it was a flush, at least during the rainy season.

      Great day today here too.

      • flyboybob Says:

        Ah yes, I forgot about fashion. Just think about all the things that woman, in particular, would do for fashion. Things like corsets, girdles, high heels and makeup.

        I think old Joe Kennedy encouraged his son to wear that top hat. After all, he spent the greater part of his adult life preparing his first son Joseph Jr. for the job. Unfortunately, Joe was killed in WWII.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        The top hat was the tradition. It didn’t originate with JFK’s father. Even Ike wore one.

        Women still have pain for fashion. Look at how high the heels are now. That is crazy.

      • flyboybob Says:

        Yes, I agree. Kennedy took off the top hat indicating that a change big change was coming. 🙂 And did it come!

  2. olof1 Says:

    Batik was very popular when I grew up, not in my home though. My mother always thought only hippies wore batik and she sure was no hippie 🙂 I did get one t-shirt in batik though, from friends and my mother wasn’t happy but let me wear it anyway. It was orange and had several white cirkles all around. I loved that t-shirt 🙂

    IThunder just passed to the north from us and we did get a shower but no lightning here. It isn’t especially hot but it feels like it because of the insanely high humidity. I have a head ache so it’s time to make some coffee, my stomach can’t take any headache pills any longer. But coffee usually works just fine.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    By the way, You should add and a fantastic soccer team too on te headline 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      You would have loved the cloth. The guys had shirts made, and they were beautiful with all the colors. This was before hippies and batik.

      It is high humidity now. I had to go to the store twice to get what I needed for the barbecue today. I am making a cocktail and needed one ingredient. I couldn’t buy it as alcohol is not sold until after 12 on Sunday so I had to go back to get it.

      Hope that headache goes away!

      Have a great evening.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    When I was in my 20’s I wore a skirt almost every day to almost every thing, even hiking in the woods. As you say, it was just easier. I did not wear nylons or pantyhose.
    Nowadays, I never wear skirts or dresses. Always jeans. Sometimes dress jeans. I wore pin whale corduroy jeans to my mother’s funeral. It was November cold and my dress pants were far too unthermal to be standing out in the drizzle and wind.

    I do miss wearing high heeled shoes though my knees and back are happy that I don’t. Luscious shoes still draw my eye. Once I almost bought a pair of stunning candy apple hot rod red patent leather pumps with 4 inch heels suitable for Salsa dancing even though I could not wear them. I was planning to put them on display on my coffee table. They were that gorgeous. Reason asserted itself and I walked away quickly though I did go back a couple of days later but the gorgeous pumps were gone.

    It’s beautiful and breezy and sunny up here today. The dogs and I have been for two walks so far. They are sleeping next to me on the couch and I might nap too. Sounds like a plan.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I also wore a skirt or dress everyday as teachers didn’t wear pants when I first started out here at home. I don’t wear them much either except on Easter and maybe a wedding.

      You did well ignoring the temptation. A while back I gave all my high hills to Goodwill. I knew they were just taking up space. Even if I wore a dress, I’d never wear them.

      Breezy day here as well, but I am sweating from doing simple things getting ready for my barbecue. I’m taking a break here as the breeze is lovely here in the den.

      Gracie is napping here on the couch. If company weren’t coming I’d join her. The window would have that breeze right on my face-lovely!

      Have a great nap.

      • Caryn Says:

        The lovely west wind that has caused me to pull on a blanket the last few nights is dying away. I can feel the humidity rising again. Oh, well. I have an air conditioner on order and it should be here by the 12th. It will be interesting to see if I can wrestle it into position by myself.

      • katry Says:

        Caryn,
        We had quite the breeze all evening. The barbecue was great, and we had fun playing our usual Sunday games. My friends were here from 2 until nearly nine. I am exhausted from the prep and the cleaning up; however, it was well worth it.


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