Four years ago I clambered aboard a plane that I was supposed to be on for nine hours and ended up being on for nineteen hours. It was the beginning of a grand adventure.
My sister, cousin, and I arrived in a nearly colorless land where the tans, browns, and reds ran together. And then we met the people – bright bursts of color against a drab world. A people full of lively music, welcoming hospitality, unbelievable drive, and a joy and humility that I won’t ever forget.
We went to visit some friends and paint their house. Our hours were spent peeling layer upon layer of old paint off the walls, standing on ladders to roll new brightness onto the ceiling, and delving into the culture of the country. It was delightful.
While there I learned how to make Indian curry – perhaps an odd dish to discover considering I was in Ghana, West Africa, but it remains one of my favorite dishes to this day. The lady we were staying with also taught me the trick of how to make eggplant not taste bitter. (It’s really simple actually, and something I did last week: You simply slice the eggplant and lay out the slices then sprinkle them with salt. The bitter juices emerge after ten minutes or so and you just blot them up and the eggplant is delicious and bitter-free.)
Attending a Ghanaian wedding, climbing a termite mound, eating food under a mango tree hanging heavy with fruit, watching the thermometer climb to 110, and getting to ask endless questions about the way people believed, thought, and lived, made the two weeks fly by way too fast.
It was a delightful interlude in my life and I’m thankful for the memories that swing in each January to say hello.