Here follows a reasonably accurate account of a day in the life of Janine, resident of Nangong-Ayeili, Karaga District, Ghana. Apologies for no pictures due to poor internet access and on account of the rain.
5:30-6am – Wake up, mosey around and read a bit
6:20 – Warm water for the bucket bath is ready!
6:35 – Bucket bath is finished. Clean and ready for the day.
7:45 – Coco (spicy porridge) is hot and too hot for consumption
8 – Must be gone on my way to the office
8:15 – Reached Karaga, stop by Arimiyaw’s shop to grab some water sachets for the day
8:17-8:30 – Arrive at the office
8:30 – 12:30 – Working, email, talking to colleagues, strategizing, going to the field
12:30-2pm – Lunch, usually fried yams, beans, and dry fried guinea fowl
2pm-5:30pm – Working, usually conversation or reading based
5:30pm – 6:15pm – Chilling in Karaga town with various friends (including Arimiyaw, Talhatu)
6:15pm – 6:30pm – Racing home before it gets dark
6:40pm – Water is ready for bucket bath #2! If you refuse either, you are surely unclean
7pm – 8pm – Read, watch videos with kids, do some small email/work, call friends
8pm – Eat! Usually TZ (maize ground up and boiled into a gelled mass) and some kind of soup made of tomatoes and groundnuts plus spices etc.
8:30pm – Sleeping time. Glorious straw mat paired with pillow usually allows my tired body and mind a good night’s rest
So now you know what my average day looks like.While I have been developing a routine here in my village, each week is still somehow exceptional. This week I was able to convince one of the people I am hanging out with that it will never work between us (thank goodness he has now changed his mind, now it’s only that he wants me to send him to Canada). I had great visits from both Dominique and Maxim, which has given me pretty cool perspective on my life here in Karaga. It’s also really interesting to have Canadian EWBers to commiserate with. Things that I have been taking for normal here are in fact somewhat ridiculous when put into our Canadian perspective. But if you’re not among Canadians it’s not a perspective that makes much sense to use. Even though it is more than possible to connect across cultures, it still remains so much easier to connect within. So I’ve had a great time with these two guys plus some great conversations convincing people that they are not either my father or my husband. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with this type of explanation, and am even joking with people about marriage requests now. Oh how things change.