(guest post by Emily)
Each morning we go to the market to buy the ingredients needed for our day’s meals. What a beautiful thing it is to be more closely connected to the food we eat. We’ve definitely had to adjust to making our meals from scratch… it takes time and creativity to cook for 17 people when Costco convenience isn’t available. Preparing our food fresh daily is a good practice- it reminds us of how most people in the world prepare their meals, and how food is supposed to taste… fresh!
Tuesdays and Fridays are the most popular market days when all the neighboring merchants come to sell their goods with local merchants of Winneba. It is busy.
A typical visit to the market entails weaving ourselves through a labyrinth of merchants and customers while hearing several hollers of “Obruni, Obruni!” as we pass by. Obruni means “white person” or “foreigner” in Twi Fante, the language spoken in this area of Ghana. Locals are curious about our presence and are quite amiable, but mostly entertained by our stumbling about the market. They love to greet us and love to be greeted back with “Good Morning!“, or the Twi Fante word “Obibini!“, which means “native person” or “black person”. People get a kick out of seeing a group of foreigners try to speak Fante, and welcome this friendly banter. Greetings are very important here, so this exchange is not only fun, but necessary to show respect.
Many friendships are created in the marketplace. Now that Christian has been frequenting the market, he is recognized each time we go and is greeted by name.
Here’s a friend we met today while on the hunt for bananas. She was quite amused by us asking every person we met for bananas, and was kind enough to allow us to take her picture:
We never found the bananas. But we did happen upon some plantains, which are a staple here, and delicious!
Our most cherished friend at the market, Madam Naomi, helps us locate more obscure ingredients, like cinnamon and baking soda. She’s kind to us Obrunis when we are bewildered by the hustle and bustle of this vibrant marketplace.
A typical booth at the market can have any variety of things, from produce to jeans to fabric to oscillating fans. Here’s a peek at the colorful scenes we happened upon today, enjoy!