This past weekend I spent my time with Adjoa Jane, a Ghanaian woman who works as an administrator director in the University of Cape Coast, the proud owner of Apetito restaurant and a part-time pastry chef. While with her, I noticed how calm she was despite all the work she does. The lifestyle here in Cape Coast is like that; calm, fun and busy. Despite Jane’s busy schedule, she managed to take me EVERYWHERE; from going to the Elmina fish market, to attending the U20 soccer qualifiers between Ghana and Ethiopia, to waking up at 5:00am to go to the gym. She kept me busy and I thank her for that. The highlight of my time with her was sharing my culture and cooking Mexican food for her and her family.
I was feeling homesick while being with her. Jane treated me as if I was her daughter and it made me miss my family even more. We talked a lot about me, she wanted to know why I was in Ghana, how many siblings I had, the life of my parents, etc. For a while, I have not talked with my family so talking about them made me somewhat sad. So instead of thinking about it, I asked Jane if I could cook Mexican food for her. She immediately said yes and I got excited.
Cooking is my stress-reliever, and well I miss eating Mexican food, so it was just a win-win for both Jane and I. I originally wanted to make her tacos, but there weren’t any tortillas here so that was a no. I decided to make her Mexican rice, bistec (beef stew), fried marinated potatoes, and of course salsa. When I was cooking, Shayla was with me and she watched me transform Jane’s kitchen into a Mexican one. We were listening to music, while I was chopping the veggies and making the sauce for the rice. The smell was just great, it was so familiar, so good and it just brought me joy. But not as much joy as eating the food. When I was done cooking, we served ourselves and Jane loved it. Her family enjoyed the food as well and they asked for the recipe. I felt really good about myself and I was just very happy that I could make the food and somehow bring Mexico to Ghana.