Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Days 1279 - 1283: Grammy and Grampy Arrive! Melissa leaves!

Folks, I'll be honest.  The almost-week that all of my parents, Ruth, and Melissa were in town was a little bit of a blur.  I was focused on hanging out with everyone, and Melissa and I were spending some much-needed and little-gotten time together, so things may be short on the details here, and will definitely be short on the pictures.

I know my Mom takes notes on what she does on vacation, and my Dad is much more of a shutterbug, so I will ask them to write a guest post on the time they spent here from their perspective when they are settled in at home.

With that out of the way...

Monday night I took my parents - and, finally, Melissa - to the Nigerian restaurant on campus.  The Nigerian restaurant is, hands-down, my favorite place to eat.  We got a feast of yams, boiled plantains, chicken, rice, bitter greens with egussi, and spicy tomato sauce - and while they didn't have fan-favorite Alvaro for Ruth (I'm serious, the kid is going to go through Alvaro withdrawal when she gets home), they had a reasonable facsimile.  For my parents, who had been eating at the Guest Center while we were away, it was finally some good African food.

Tuesday and Wednesday were teaching days for me.  Tuesday morning, the sister of one of the folks who works at the Guest Center came by to measure everybody for some clothes (which turned out to be a disaster, but more on that later).  And, during the day, Ruth picked up her bird dress from Miss Gloria down at Bush Canteen - it would be several days before she would consent to taking it off.

 Wednesday I got out a bit early (canceled meeting, yay!) and Melissa and I took a "date night" into Accra while Ruth stayed over at Grammy and Grampy's flat in the Guest Center.  We stopped in at The Loom art gallery and browsed - mostly contemporary art by Ghanaian artists, and we ended up going home with two pieces.  Then, since it was still early, we headed over to the White Bell, which had been - accurately - recommended by the guide as a good place for a beer in Adabraka. So we hung out, chatted about light topics like the fate of the state of Maryland's IMD waiver, and had a few Stars in the open-walled second-storey bar.  It was late afternoon, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves, which was nice, actually.

I then had the bright idea that we would walk down past Makola Market and out along 25 January Road (past the Nkrumah Mausoleum) to dinner. This was, in theory, a good plan.  But then I left our paintings at the ATM - fortunately, they were still there after we doubled back, but by then it was very dark and neither of us were really in the mood for another click of walking, so we hailed a cab.

We had dinner at the restaurant at the place I stayed the first time I was in Ghana, the Afia African Village.  Though their nice little gallery - composed of pieces the owners have picked up on travels through West Africa was already closed - the restaurant was still as good as I'd remembered it being (maybe not quite as good as the food at the Mountain Paradise, though!).  And it was nice to sit in the open air and listen to the surf.

Then back to the flat, but this is a family blog.

Anyway, Thursday... what the heck did we do Thursday?  I know we went back - at my Mom's insistence - to the Nigerian place, and had another lovely meal.

Friday we met up with the seamstress who had come to measure us... and it didn't go that well.  Ruth loved the two dresses she made for her, and they were in fact great.  Well, I'd picked out the green material as a surprise, since earlier in the week Ruth had seen a woman walking with a green and black dress and said, "ooooh!  Her dress is so pretty!  I want a green and black dress like that." It didn't hold a candle to the pink one made from fabric Ruth had chosen at Makola.  These photos aren't from that day, but show off the two of them:

But she charged us twice what Miss Gloria did, made me a shirt out of the fabric for Melissa's dress, made Melissa a dress (that didn't fit right) out of the fabric for my shirt, and claimed that there were no fabric remnants (we were going to make a couple skirts for Ruth) - despite the suspicious presence of bolts of fabric pieced together from remnants (not ours) for sale among the cloth she'd brought the first time.  When we made motions towards perhaps that we were unsatisfied, she was very sorry but didn't offer to, say, refund our money or fix anything.  So, when in Legon - go to Miss Gloria at Culture Touch!

And, unfortunately, Friday it was time for Melissa to head home.  I was glad she was going to have a chance to rest, but of course sorry to see her go for what would be two months.

No comments: