Embarrassing things that Janine does in Ghana

I thought I’d share a laugh with you all lthis morning, as I reflect on the ridiculous and embarrassing things that I seem to so easily produce here in Ghana. So, from the least embarrassing up to the most embarrassing things that I’ve done, here they are!

1. Having my feet be dirty ALL THE TIME. Ghanaians pride themselves in being neat, and generally I’m pretty good. But my feet, no matter what I do, get mottled and caked in dust. It shows up particularly well on my white skin, and I feel like a bum.

2. Having men joke about being my husband, or that I will marry their friend. Note: This used to me disconcerting, now I just laugh and refuse/play along depending on the situation.

3. Having a baby passed to me and not knowing what to do with it. Holding it wrong, awkwardly manoeuvring it, having it scream as soon as it sees me.

4. Doing the farming wrong. Uprooting an entire maize plant instead of plucking off the cob. Getting demolished by soyabean thorns.

5. Attempting to wash my clothes by hand by myself, and having the women in my compound glance over every few minutes and burst out laughing.

6. Riding on the back of the bicycle through town, as Maxim, the other fall JF, pedals. Having people tell us that I am so fat that I will surely break the bike, and Max is too skinny and weak to carry me.

7. Not having a clue what someone is saying to me in Dagbani. Staring blankly.

8. Having men that I have only met once or twice tell me that they love me, and want to make babies with me. In complete seriousness.

9. Running to catch a Frisbee and fully tripping over a gigantic log, falling flat on the ground. Laughing so hard, and my friends suggesting that we stop playing for now…

10. Having stuff in the basket of my bicycle, and dumping it all over the road. I have now done this 5 times, including yesterday. In all manner of locations, scattering pens, first aid kit, bursting water sachets, and my wallet. Always with an audience. Without fail, people have been highly concerned and very intent on helping me pick stuff up. I always cannot believe that I have done it yet again.

So there you have it! The top ten most embarrassing things (that I can remember) that happen to me here in Ghana. Hope you enjoyed them!


About Janine Reid

What is Janine? -board game enthusiast -political observer -Vancouverite -questioner -listener -health provider
This entry was posted in Life in Ghana. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Embarrassing things that Janine does in Ghana

  1. Janine! Thanks for sharing these hilarious stories!!
    People at UBC have asked me for “most embarrassing” but I’ve forgotten some of the situations I was in…until I read yours! Bringing back memories because we have had a lot of parallel experiences.

    Numerous, numerous times, I would bike the 15 km from my workplace to my home village (this only lasted 1 month, thankfully) often with groceries. So many times, a giant ‘plastic’ of yams would burst and go all over the road, and just as you describe, always an audience, and always very concerned 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Janine Reid says:

      Elliot I can just see your yams bursting all over the road….wow we are one and the same. For me it is the bicycle basket that really gets me, because I’ve never had to contend with one before, I don’t pay attention to it enough. Deadly.

  2. seppyca says:

    Hahaha I love this post! Had to read some of it out loud to Ryan and Tessa who are in the office with me. I wish I was there to see it all happen. Please stay away from my plants…

  3. Janine Reid says:

    Have now dumped my basket twice more, and dropped a big bag of water sachets. There must be something I like too much about exploding pure water. And having innocent bystanders witness my clumsiness and rush over to help me…agh

  4. Pingback: No fat people shirts | chasing questions

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