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How Much Sand Have I Been Eating? Do Ghanaian Children Like Thomas Merton?

It has been raining a lot. Good weather for the Muslim population (who wants to fast in the equatorial sun?). Bad weather for general public health. The gutters, choked with trash, have been overflowing, and more than once I’ve had to walk through waste water a few inches deep. This I do not like. I have a latent fear of hookworm. Outside, rain, sewage. Inside, there is a twenty four hour procession of ants wrapping around the walls of my guesthouse room. I have no food so what do they want from me? My pyure watah? They can have it. This morning I bought a sachet of Go Cool Water, a brand I have come to trust. I took a sip and it tasted like water from a swamp. Come on, man.


groundnuts in ghana

There’s always a little extra crunch when you eat peanuts (called groundnuts or nkatye locally) in Ghana. That’s because they are roasted with sand. The sand helps to heat the peanuts consistently and it prevents them from getting burned. My peanut intake is enormous. It is a cheap source of protein. And sand. I’ve probably consumed a small sand castle in the two months I’ve been here.

Blessing and Anne-Marie “Jubilating”

kids in ghana

Hey Anne-Marie, what do you want to do?

kids in ghana

Oh, I don’t know Blessing. I think I will just suck my thumb for now.

kids in ghana

Did you know we can make noise with our flip flops?
Really?!? Holy shit this is sweeeeeeeet!

kids in ghana

Oh no you di n’ttt

kids in ghana

This is the best day of my life!!!!

kids in ghana

Dad is PISSED.

kids in ghana

Wait! Anne-Marie, the party’s not over! I have The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton.

kids in ghana

Oh yyyyyeaaaaaah. Let’s just chill out with some Thomas Merton.

kids in ghana

Actually, let’s just go nuts instead!

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Nick Laborde August 25, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Mmm … sand … not just for breakfast

  • Mama Kiz March 26, 2011, 8:22 pm

    okay, i know i’m ridiculously late on posting here…. but bottom line, i want to meet these stinkers. RIGHT. NOW. i’m pretty sure they can teach me a lot about rhythm. and just look insanely fun. so, when are you going back? i’d like to accompany you. do you think they’d be my friend?

    • phil March 26, 2011, 10:24 pm

      they are my all time favorites!! Im flying to senegal on the 6th. Will be in Mali, but trying to get to Ghana one way or another. Join me!! They would definitely be your friend..

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