Monday, October 27, 2014

26-Oct-2014 We earned our money today!!

It's Sunday afternoon and we have a pretty sick Elder on our couch. A screaming case of Malaria.
When they do the Blood Smear for the test, they give you the results with a + behind it.
Malaria is a tiny parasite that invades the red blood cells and causes them to burst. A one plus (+) means 25% of the blood cells have been damaged/destroyed, a (++) means 50% and so forth. This Elder had (+++) and is he ever feeling punk. We have brought him to our apartment to keep a close eye on him. We just got back from the University Hospital for more testing. Scanned the results to the Area Medical Adviser in Accra. Now we are really pushing fluids.

While traveling about the countryside the past few days, we were able to stop at a few fabric stores.
No...not "JoAnns" or "The Cotton Barn" or "Wal-Mart" ....just fabric stores.
These are the places where it is all taken care of while you wait, or, place your order and come back in a day or two. Customer service is "King".

Sister Barney negotiates with the owner/manager while I 
check out the factory floor where the work is done.
Check out the fabrics on the wall.
One of the seamstress working at her machine while her assistant
in the basket is doing the pressing.
 They take raw material and stamp it with designs dipped in hot wax,
then they dip the cloth in the dye of the day, boil out the wax that keeps
the dye from absorbing, and you have a finished product.  "Batik"
 The wax is in the bowl on the ground.

 Another pic of the seamstresses.

 Now we move on the a "Tie & Dye" factory
 Isle no. 4
 Dying location
 Isle two
 Dying pots again...notice the colors

 Not sure who works here, or who is curious.
Sister Barney feels like the "Pied Piper".
The young man in the blue shirt is packing our selections.
 Here is how you blow the whistle for service.
 Folded material being dipped for coloring
 This young girl had a pot of dried corn.
It was full of corn and some sort of crawley things.
The kids said they were "Animals".

 Finally a sales clerk
 A few negotiations and special orders.
 Small bundles out of the pot with dye on one side.
Now they are going to change color for the next dipping
 That was hard work. Everyone needs a break in the shade
 This pic is just for the kids.
Every once and a while we spot a pet that is in control.
This monkey is at the entrance to a Chinese Restaurant that we tried out.
 He is tethered to the bottom of a tree that he sleeps in at night
We passed crowd after crowd jamed into small cafes.
Turns out that they are watching a "Football Game" (Soccer)
Every now and then we would hear a mighty cheer rise from the crowds.
I think Ghana finally won a game.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

19-Oct-2014 What to do on a "P-Day"

For our Monday P-Day (preparation day) we decided to go shopping with one of the other couples. We had to drive to several locations to find the stuff dreams are made of...
We spotted a pottery place on the road to Mampong while traveling on Sunday, so decided to check it out. Down the road a ways there is a "Wood Carvers Village" and we had to check it out, in town there is a "Cultural Center" that we had to check out also. I hate to shop! There are street vendors everywhere that swoop on us like fly's when we get out of the car, and they all have the best and lowest price. RIGHT
Here are some pics from a days shopping in Kumasi Africa.

 So, on our way to the forum, here on the side of the road is a load of "Dugout Canoes"
I guess they are for large natives.
 I would like to see the finished product. These are only rough cut.
 Back to shopping...the pottery place. These two women were
pretty fun to deal with. And they like there snaps taken.
 This is Paul, and he is an "Adinkra" stamper???
I know...what is Adinkra? They are symbols that have meaning
or represent sayings.
Here are some of his "Home Carved" stamps. 
 A quick dip, and here is your stamp.
 This symbol means "Gye Nyame" (except God)
the Omnipotence and Immortality of God
It's definitely one of the most popular.
 Grinding special bark to make the ink
 Soaking the bark in water
 Cooking it down to the right consistency.
 Now that is just right
 Some of his stamp work.
 Where did this come from??? Oh that's right, he is Kenyon...
 Wood Carvers Villiage
 And guess got it...a wood carver.
I'm surprised he has all of his fingers after watching for a few minutes.
 Oops there goes another rubber tree
 Cool patterns created by blowing the ink.
 This is KingNuri, one of the carvers that we like.
He is not pushy, so he gets our business.
 These guessed it....what I majored in at High School.
We had a long talk comparing African and Western technique.
 He is making a lamp shade. Pretty Cool.
 Working on a rather large drum.
 Drying skins for the drums
 Drums in process
 Drum tuner.
 Oh...little brass things.
 First you make each little, or big, thing out of wax.
 coat it with an ash / clay mixture, let it dry, put it in a fire and
melt out the wax, then fill it with brass. 
 The end result is a little, or big, brass thing that looks
exactly like the little, or big, wax thing.
 Melting brass to pour in the little, or big, mold.
"Where the wax use to be"
 Some large kilns for doing pottery. one was around. I was wondering if they were the 
ladies that were out on the street.
 A Calabash tree. It produces the large gords that are used for all sorts of things.
 A Calabash bud
Some Itty Bitty calabash babies. 
 This picture is for Tim...We had a plumber come to fix our sink.
He is above "Journeyman", notice there was not a fire on the floor
 I thought someone lost an earring or something, but this is
the real thing...I can hardly believe the colors.
This one is for the Hornes.
This guy has very low overhead in his yard service.
Portable lawnmower, boots and a few machetes. Take note.