Let’s talk about Ghana

Ok so this week has been insanely difficult. We all know that already. So rather than dwelling into the negative junk happening in my life, I thought this blog post should be committed to the cool stuff about Ghana that people in my life might not know.

Here we go, super cool info about super cool country.

Let’s start at the beginning. Ghana was the 1st African country to gain freedom from their colonizers! Ghana was colonized by the British and gained independence on March 6th, 1957.

Ghana was originally called The Gold Coast because the country was (and hopefully is) rich is gold. Following independence, Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana, thought that changing the name of the country would be a good way to reclaim a national identity that had been stolen from the British.

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The national language in Ghana is English, but there are several regional languages spread over 10 regions of Ghana! In the Greater Accra region, the language is Ga, but most people speak Twi. Twi is probably the most common language throughout the whole country, but like I said, there are several other languages spoken about the ~25 million people who live here. My Twi isn’t very good, but I do have a bit of a foundation in Fante (language spoken in Central and Western regions) and fortunately for me, Twi and Fante are VERY similar.

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Did you know that in Ghana it is rude to gesture with your left hand? No waving, no greeting. Definitely no accepting money with the left. No paying with the left. No eating with the left. I actually never met anyone left-handed until I moved to Accra! At Heritage, the kids always used to get a kick out when I would write on the board with my left hand.

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Many people here are given a name based on the day of the week upon which they were born. There are different names for boys and girls, and they each reflect one of the 7 days of the week. They can differ in spelling and pronunciation from region to region but here is a general idea of what the names would look like:

Day                Boy Name               Girl Name

Sunday              Kwesi                        Esi

Monday             Kojo                          Adwoa (AH-jew-AH)

Tuesday            Kwabena                  Abena

Wednesday     Kwaku                       Akua

Thursday         Yaw                            Yaa

Friday               Kofi                            Afua

Saturday          Kwame                      Ama

My Ghana name is Esi, so Sunday-born. In Accra people prefer to call me Akosua (A-Kos-EE-UH). I guess because Esi is more of a Fante tradition and Akosua is more Twi, but to be honest I don’t know exactly why.

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Confession: I really really dislike Ghanaian food. Ghanaian food is super heavy in carbs, and there is pretty much always a tomato based sauce with every dish. Yam with some sort of tomato stew, rice with some sort of tomato stew, plantain with some sort of tomato stew have been pretty normal in my life here. I pretty much cook my own food or eat out, but there are some Ghanaian dishes that I LOVE:

I love jollof rice. It is a spicy, tomato based rice. It is really simple. Often served with chicken, but the rice is the main dish.

Groundnut (Peanut) Soup – Otherwise known as peanutbutter soup. This is amazing. I like it best with chicken, but people use fish as the protein as well. It is literally a soup with a natural peanut butter base. I know it sounds gross, but Ghanaian peanut butter is not nearly as sweet as American, so the taste is delicious. It also has ground up peppers and onions and its is often served with rice balls, rice, or fufu. I like it best with plain rice. In fact, I could use some right now…

Fufu – The most filling food. It is mashed plantain and cassava. It creates this sort of dough. You pour soup over it and eat it with your hands. It sticks to spoons so the best method is to wet your fingers with the soup then pinch (with the right hand of course) the fufu to eat. Its yummy!

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I suppose that is all for now! I’ll keep adding cool Ghana facts in further blog posts but this is pretty good foundation material!

Thanks for all of the support, everyone! Things are difficult here, but this blog has been really great for me! I love your feedback and I am so appreciative to have all of you in my life!

Sorry I keep rambling.

Hope you all liked this positive post!

Much love,

Jordan

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