Before I arrived in Ghana I read about the warm and friendly people. But they left out how kind the Ghanaians are.
Yesterday evening, after Pamela and Richard brought me to my hotel, they did not leave. They came upstairs and showed me how everything worked. And then they stayed. Just stayed. They sat on the couch, showed me a couple of local tv stations. Laughed about some scene from ‘The Fast And The Furious’, which they have both seen seven times.
As an introvert, I need my space. And as an introvert, who had just traveled across the continent one would think that I would definitely need my own space. But I did not. We just sat there. Me on the bed and the two of them on the couch, laughing at the antics on the tellie. Two people who are complete strangers to me, but their company felt like a hug.
After they left, the Front-of-House-Manager came upstairs to bring me more cold, bottled water. Just in-case.
This morning the Reception Desk called to ask what time I would like breakfast, and was it true that I was a vegetarian?
A little while later they called again to check what was keeping m because my breakfast was getting cold.
When I got downstairs, I was the only guest in the dining room. And there was a lovely plate of food waiting for me: a fried egg, vegetable stir-fry, baked beans and two thick slices of home-made white bread. And a cup of tea with, what I think, may have been Ideal Milk.
While I was eating my breakfast, I caught sight of something black peeking out from behind the corner of the wall next to my table.
Turns out to be the toe of the shoe of the woman who served me breakfast, who was sitting just out of eye-shot, to make sure I was happy and eating my breakfast!
Richard (the Echohouse driver) picked me up and took me to the Echohouse offices, in East Legon, where I met my new colleagues.
And if my new colleagues are anything to go by, then Ghanaians are even more special than I already think they are! WOW!
Lunchtime, Emma (Echohouse colleague) and Eric (another Echohouse driver) took me to a local spot called Mangos, to pick up lunch for me.
Or, what I thought was to pick up lunch for me. But, once we were inside, they explained that they would be eating with me. So that I would not have to have lunch on my own!
Emma ordered ‘Kontomire, without fish’ for me and ‘Kontomire, with Smoked Salamon (sp. correct)’ for herself. (Kontomire is a hot, spicy stew made with cocoyam leaves (or spinach), tomato, onion and palm oil, served with rice.)
Eric was delighted with his ‘Fufu And Aponkey (Goat)’. Eric was even more delighted with my morbid vegetarian fascination with his Aponkey.
During lunch, Emma and Eric proceeded to regale me with descriptions of every vegetarian dish in the Ghanaian lexicon.
List Of (More) Vegetarian Ghanaian Dishes To Try:
Fufu – Casava and Plantain balls served in a sauce
Groundnut Soup (Not Granite Soup, as I thought!) – Peanut sauce
Banku – Corn and Casava ‘pap’
Tom Brown – Smoked Corn porridge
Hausa Koko – Millet porridge
Kosi with Koko – Deep-fried Millet porridge balls
Omutu – Rice pap
Ampesi – Boiled yam
Jollof – Riceballs
Waakye – Rice & Beans
Beans with Fried Plantain
Redred – Black-Eyed Bean stew
TZ (short for Tuo Zaafi) – “Green soup” (Green vegetable soup made from bitter or cassava leaves, served with maize and cassava or millet balls)
Boflot – Ghanaian doughnut
Palm Wine (This should be at the top of the list! 😉
Looking at this list, I better take that 243.83-Centimetres-Long-Surfboard on a couple of outings, if I don’t want to become a ball myself!
Kontomire is delicious! When I mentioned to Emma that I was sure I could taste fish in my vegetarian dish, though, she says ‘Yes, they took the fish out for you’.
I may have to explain a bit better what the concept of “Vegetarian With Egg” entails!!