Saturday Visit to Makola Market......
I am not sure where to start, the market is an experience in so many ways. I am glad we were with Lawrenda to provide familiarity, she also translated a few times.
The market is in central Accra, it is HUGE, blocks and blocks of sections, stalls, stores, and vendors walking about with big basins over their heads and most everywhere unless you are in a major intersection of the market, you walk single file and have to be aware of where you are, what you are doing; you know the drill, the same as with any large crowded area anywhere in the world. Today it was Stefan, Hannah, Lawrenda and myself. Kwame took us to the market at 8:30am, it was about a 20 minute ride.
We were shopping for fabric for Hannah and for beads for myself. I was able to find the beautiful African print fabrics with several fish prints. They are hard to find, Lawrenda has very good vision. Each vendor that we visited has 300 to 400 different fabric prints that you can select from and they are all beautiful, most are arranged by color and by type. Ana, I was thinking about you all the time, you would love all the colors and selections.
We visited the fish, poultry and meat section and that was like being in a movie. I saw animal parts that I don't recall seeing before, also smoked fish, crawfish, shrimp, tilapia. It looks kind of like beef jerky, dark in color and a bit stiff, but in the shape of the fish. Lawrenda says people eat this all the time.
You can buy almost anything at the market and you can bargain. I was able to take some photos, I always try to be respectful of the local customs and take pictures without interrupting or surprising people. Certainly the colors, textures, shapes and the juxtaposition of the goods sold right next to each other, would be great material for a photo documentary.
One section that was under cover, (some stalls and sections are in huge open buildings with rows and rows of vendors tightly packed) that section had tailors and seamstress working right out in the open, sewing machines side by side. And close to these vendors I passed a few beauty salon set ups and the pedicure and manicure ladies.
Everywhere in Ghana the are children, everywhere. And someone is always taking a nap and their slippers are close by, we saw many instances of children taken back and surprised to see two obruni or white people. The market is not frequented by many tourists or foreign visitors, today I did not see any Obrunis, or any other type of foreign person...and we walked amongst thousands of people in a three hour time frame.
I was able to find the recycled glass beads, they don't have the selection that they have in Somanya, I was able to find what I wanted. Somanya is where the recycled glass beads come from, it is about 30 minutes past the school site in Aiykumah.
Hannah had a marriage proposal while we were at the market, she said it was proposal # ten since she is been in Ghana. In the three minutes the conversation goes from do you want to buy some jeans, do you want to be my friend, I want to marry you, can I come to your home ? Or something like that. On my first visit I remember Lizzie had a marriage proposal from a young man riding in the back of a pick up truck we were following. Always there are big smiles and very firm NO answer and the young men walk away or go back to their business or whatever they were doing.
We had a TROTO ride on the way back. I will write about that in my next post.
------ Short and sweet from my iPad ---------