Saturday, September 3, 2011
June 4th – Art Market and Shopping
Today we went to the Art Market with Ryan, Kristen, Rebecca, Tracey and all 6 children. It was very hot, a bit overwhelming, and quite interesting. There were all sorts of vendors, mostly set up in cramped stalls, under a huge tent. The stalls were filled with cloth, clothes, instruments, masks and beads, wood carvings of everything from animals to bowls, to name a small sampling of the things available. We went to get a few keepsakes and gifts.
As soon as we got out of the taxi we had many people trying to get us to come to their stall to by their items. If you give them a hint of interest you are pursued. One, turns into 3, turns into 5, etc. I do not like to be in those situations. I got so good at saying “No, small money” that I missed out on seeing many of the beautiful things. Ken, on the other hand, kept engaging the various vendors and as a result was constantly surrounded. I constantly had to pull him out of the middle of a crowd. It was funny. He did on the other hand have a chance to see more than I did because I was too busy saying “no”. :-)
We were thankful that we had Charles with us. Charles is a taxi driver that Tracey& Rebecca use. He is very nice man and stayed with us as we shopped. He looked out for us and helped us to know if we were getting a good price, or not.
This first place we stopped at the Art Market was the shop Tracey had told about to get drums at a good price. We purchased 2 carved drums for 35 cedis each, a price she had negotiated the previous week. Before we were able to pick out our drums we were treated to mini concert (I’ll post video once we have completed the puzzles). We selected one with a giraffe and African village scene. The other was similar except it had a kente cloth pattern for the upper portion. It was a great time with the drum craftsmen. Charles took the drums to the taxi so we wouldn't have to carry them around the market.
We then looked around for a bit and got most of the gifts and items we wanted; a small giraffe carving, a thumb drum and several beaded bracelets. After a while some of the kids were starting to meltdown, so we decided to leave and go to the mall for lunch and groceries.
Before heading out we bought the kids ice cream, in a bag, from an ice cream bicycle vendor, 50p. The kids loved it. One thing we will have to address is the matter of trash. The kids finished up their ice cream as we were riding in the taxi. The windows were down since there is no air condition. Before we knew it, the kids threw their wrappers out the window, oops. However, this is quite common in
where there are few trash cans and a seemingly less concern for litter. Ghana
After lunch Ryan and Kristen took their boys back to the hotel & Rebecca, Tracey, their girl’s & our family went grocery shopping. Having to eat out was getting old and expensive. Thankfully, the hotel we are staying at allows us to use the kitchen after 5 as long as we clean-up after ourselves. Tonight we’re having pasta with red sauce.
There was something we experienced on the way home, something that will stay with us. We were at a rare stop just outside the mall when a little girl of about 8 or 9 reached her hand into Ken's side of the taxi. She then put her hand to her mouth asking for food. It broke our hearts. Our groceries were piled in the front of the taxi and we were not with Charles, so we couldn’t ask about the situation. Was this truly a starving child? Or did someone send her to beg? We moved a bit and she was replaced by a boy about 6 or 7 years of age. Each time lasted only a few seconds, but it is burned in our memory. I imagined my children begging for food, going hungry. We held our children a little tighter.