“Similar things are drawn to each other.” 

If I had slept any later this morning, I would have missed the sun. It disappeared: all traces are gone for the meanwhile, only clouds remain, but this remarkable disappearance calls for patience. The sun will be back. It is 69° now and won’t get any higher than 73°.

When I was a kid, by the time the end of August rolled around, I was just about ready for school. What had been fun and exciting in June and July had gotten boring. In September, the mostly unplanned days of summer disappeared and were replaced by a uniformity. From Monday to Friday I was up at the same time, wore the same clothes, my uniform, and spent the day in school. Only my lunches were different from day to day. Whenever I could, I played outside after school, but soon enough, the afternoons started to get darker earlier. Forced inside, I’d finish my homework and then watch some TV. I remember Superman and The Mickey Mouse Club. I remember eating dinner while sitting at the table with my back to the window. I remember having to go to bed early. “School tomorrow,” my mother always said and that was enough.

When I lived in Ghana, my weekdays had a similarity. I ate the same breakfast every morning: two eggs, 2 pieces of toast and coffee. The eggs were cooked in groundnut (peanut) oil giving them a distinctive taste, one which elevated the eggs to a different plane. The coffee was instant with evaporated milk, but after a while, that tasted just fine. I’d walk across the school compound to the classroom block and teach. Any break in the morning classes meant a walk home and some more coffee. After my day of teaching, it was lunch time, always a bowl of cut fruit, whatever was in season. The afternoons were mine unless it was volleyball or track season. I coached both. If it was a simple afternoon of no activities, I’d sometimes take a nap or I’d go into town and shop. I’d usually stop at the Super Service Inn to say hi and to watch the men play Oware, the Ashanti version of mancala, outside under the trees. It was fun to watch. The audience, all men, made comments about the moves or offered advice. I, an invited guest, just watched. From there I’d head home, prepare lessons and then eat dinner: either chicken or beef in a sauce, usually a tomato sauce, and yam. During the rest of the evening, students sometimes dropped by to visit or I’d read and listen to music. The last activity of the day before bed was my shower, always cold water.

I was never bored in Ghana. I was in Africa. Everything was different even in its similarity.

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4 Comments on ““Similar things are drawn to each other.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today we got a break in the weather with a temperature of s cool 94°. 🙂 The little sprinkle of rain we got yesterday is only a faint memory.

    It’s always interesting to me that what we anticipate the most eventually becomes mundane. The excitement of summer vacation turns into the sameness by August.

    How would you explain the games that the men played in Ghana? Where they board games, or where they ball games?

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Oware is a board game of sorts. Here is some information:


      I watched men playing it because I was at a bar. Women didn’t go to bars back then. I did see some pictures of women playing it but at home.

      Maybe that temperature means fall is starting to get moving. Before you know it, you’ll need a sweater!

      • Bob Says:

        Unfortunately, not until after Labor Day weekend. The forecast temperatures for the weekend are back in the triple digits. Although the Labor Day weekend highs will be only, 101°, 102°, or 103°.

      • katry Says:

        We are cool. Today’s high was 73°. Tomorrow will be in the 60’s and the 50’s at night. We have no had the usual August New England heat wave.

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