Making Beads

It has become an informal routine for us that on Saturdays, we have something out of the ordinary for breakfast, then we go out and explore and/or run errands. This past Saturday, the main goal for the day was to go grocery shopping, but with a few stops along the way. The first stop of the day was at the T.K. Bead Factory, about 2km from our house, along the main road into Accra. We stopped in, and were just in time to piggyback with a group that had already arranged to take a tour. So here’s a taste of what we saw.

Grinding recycled glass

Grinding recycled glass

The first stage of the tour was seeing how they use recycled glass to make beads which will be painted. This begins by taking glass chips and grinding them down into a powder, about the consistency of baking powder. Then they add dye to the powder to get the desired base color. Continue reading

Changing Toothbrushes

New toothbrush heads!

This morning, we changed out our toothbrush heads for new ones.

Why is this a big deal? It is a big deal because it means that today marks three months since our first full day in Ghana. And what a journey the past three months have been!

Different sources speak about and visualize the cultural adaptation cycle differently. Some see it as a valley between peaks. Others see it as a scatter plot or a jagged line, like the stock market graphs. Others see it as shifting shades of grey along a continuum. However you want to visualize it, the cultural adaptation cycle is real, and there is no way to escape it, except to go back to our home culture (which we aren’t planning to do anytime soon).

So… a few thoughts about the past few months, and an eye toward the future. Continue reading

A Sunday Drive, Ghana-Style

[nb. This is a long post. If you just want pretty pictures, click the “More” link and jump to the end. But it’s a fun story, if you want to read the whole post.]

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Last week, we took delivery of our new vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Buying a vehicle in a foreign country, buying a new vehicle for the first time, and all that comes with that whole process, was a big deal. It’s done now, and we now get to start enjoying the freedom of having our own vehicle.

So, yesterday we decided to take a leisurely Sunday drive after lunch. We have spent a fair number of days in the heart of Accra, but had yet to leave the city, so we consulted the Google, and found a route that looked nice, that would take us about two hours altogether. The plan was to head north from our house, end up along the edge of a nature preserve, and then come home.

Well, we started out, and everything was going to plan. The road was pretty decent, the weather was good, and the traffic got less and less as we got further from the city. We actually got out into the countryside a bit, and had some nice time riding along looking at the forests and the mountains alongside us. Continue reading