March 25, 2016 in Ghana is known as Africa Day. Africa day is celebrated in six African countries, including Ethiopia, South Africa, as well as Ghana. Today’s holiday is in celebration of the formation of the Organization of African Unity. But for most of the country it is a day off from work and school.
Jada, Heidi and I meet up with a former staff member of the Fairhill Guesthouse, who became a lifelong friend of a former Davidson in Ghana student, named Thomas. A friendship that allowed for some of us in the 2016 group to gain an authentic experience of the city. We walked the long beach and visited the busy fishing market as well as attended a local soccer game.
It was quite easy to tell when we came close to the fishing market as we walked the beach line; the smell of fresh fish dominated the air. The first scene we encountered was a group of fishermen pulling in a boat from the water. One person in the front was in charge of yelling out to signal when the rest of the group should pull in unison. It is quite obvious how the way of life in Ghana makes it almost impossible to be out of shape. Everyone from the old to the young, from the women to the men, have an obvious physical and even mental strength and discipline we just don’t see in America. Our new friend Thomas works from 8 in the morning to 8 at night Sunday-Friday, with only one day off.
We witnessed the fisherman cleaning the fish with the sand, hawks scavenging for smaller fish that would not sell, and a happy man who paraded the beach with a fish the probably half my size. Though none of the these moments could compare to the excitement we saw at the soccer game in which the greatest moment was our free entry due to the fact that we were females. Everything from the Fan Choco that I order that eventually spilled all over Jada’s bag to the constant dancing and singing in celebration of literally any and everything made this game like no other any of us had ever seen before. The day was topped off with a cab ride in which 6 of us squeezed into one car to make our way to Fairhill right in time for dinner.