One interesting thing we experience every day, as we drive around Accra, are the “Hawkers.” These are entrepreneurs with a with an interesting marketing strategy. They determined that the best place to show what they have to sell is when they have a captive audience; on the highway where drivers are waiting for the light to change. At any given intersection you might see up to 20-30 different vendors weaving in and out of the cars. The majority of the Hawkers are female and they carry everything balanced on their heads. It is amazing how they can quickly move from car to car and never have a balancing problem. The men also learn how to balance things on their heads but after they reach manhood, you generally don’t see them using that skill too much any more. This weekend we learned that the Hawkers have now shown up in the “bush", like in Koforidua.
This is on our way to Koforidua. There is a toll booth so everyone has to stop and pay 1 cedi (25 cents). The Hawkers know the traffic has to slow and form a line, so they are hope to entice someone to buy.
We have compiled a list of what we noticed they are selling:
Papaya, belts, shoes, water, beverages, nuts, apples, city maps, bananas, paper towels, tp, gum, mints, chocolate, windshield wipers, toys, books, towels, newspapers, cloths, animal bobbleheads, flags, key chains, popped popcorn, phone cards, bread, oranges, Kleenex, safety car triangles, laundry soap, fire extinguishers, television rabbit ears, lint brushes, paint brushes, shoeshine kits, bananas, eggs, and more. We will let you know when they start selling bigger items like washers, refrigerators and such!!
A glimpse of the countryside on our way to Koforidua, which is about 2 hours north of Accra. We actually were on a paved road....well, with potholes, but this was the view from the side of the car.
Our purpose in visiting Koforidua was an assignment from President Heid to learn about the area, the church buildings and the missionaries. The Taylors, another senior couple, have been there for four months, but will be returning to the US on Monday night. She has developed a painful, skin rash due to the heat, so they are going home for treatment and hoping to be reassigned to a different mission that is not so hot! We will miss them. They have been extremely helpful to the missionaries; getting their propane tanks filled, being "parents" and assisting the members and church leadership in the area.
We were amazed at the number of people alongside the road. They were doing a run and there were hundreds, if not a few thousand, who eventually went up and down a very steep hill for about 3 miles!! Remember at 8am, it is already about 85 degrees and 70% humidity!!
A band even accompanied the runners!
Sister Taylor at her Angel Gate House in Koforidua. Notice the razor wire. You will find it everywhere.
The Taylors drove us around Koforidua and neighboring villages. This is a tree with many fruit bats hanging on the limbs.
We stopped by a cocoa plantation. Cocoa is a large crop in Ghana. Those huge pods have many seeds that are dried and become the cocoa bean. We will have to return in later fall when they are harvested and dried.
This is part of the cocoa plantation. The sky was darkening and we did have a downpour of rain later.
You climb many stairs, like going into a treehouse, to reach the "walkway", which is like a suspension bridge. It was a little rickety, but there were many safety nets! There were 5 separate bridges to navigate.
Some of the other tourists were from several Methodist congregations and they were having a retreat in the area. One of them wanted her picture with an "Oburoni," a white westerner.
Stan and Elder Taylor standing in front of one of the tree 'bases" at the canopy walk.
On our drive we saw this man selling fresh-water crabs. We didn't buy any as we weren't craving mini crabs today, but we gave him a donation.
This colorful lizard was above the doorway at the Taylor's house.
Nancy helped by cutting up watermelon and eating!!
Sister Long is in the red blouse. She will be leaving the mission to return to her home in July but currently she is a Sister Leader Trainer. She has a great personality.
The entire group surround the Taylors with their love.
This is a coconut tree. All the hanging objects are actually bird nests. Don't think you will see anything like it in the states.
On our drive to and from Koforidua, we noticed more interesting signs, many with religious connotations. We hope that we are not repeating the same ones as previously listed:
Fear Woman and Save Your Life
Come to Jesus
God is in Control
Give your Heart to Jesus
Hand of God
God is Light
Look and Pick Co.
Jesus is Alive
Don’t Fear Moving, Fear Standing Still
Elohim Printing Press
Rescue the Perishing
Don’t Mind Your Wife (this is a chop bar eating place)
Still Peace Man
In the Name of Jesus
The Finger of God Fashions
Christ in You (Samsung Ltd.)
In This Time Living Enterprises
No Jesus No Life
Some other scenes from this week.
The mission home has been undergoing a "remodel" of the missionary bunkhouse and the missionary apartment for the office elders and assistants to the presidents. President invited the elders to help with the clean up process so they can move back in this upcoming week.
If you look closely
This banana tree overhangs the wall around our apartment. Actually bananas are quite small here and this is likely a bunch of plantains.
On Friday President and Delynn said we needed to get out of the office after lunch. Stan and President went to the driving range and Stan got a few golf "tips". (President loves to golf and played college baseball at BYU.) Stan said the golf course was very beautiful, but he forgot to take a picture. Delynn and Nancy went to a nice hotel swimming pool as the one that we can use for free at the temple apartment complex had a broken pump! That afternoon it was hard to believe we were in Africa!!