Meltdowns and Mayhem

Two things:
1. I spent a good 10 minutes on the floor of my kitchen crying over the phone to my mom. Why? I spoiled my chicken and burnt my rice. I somehow managed to end up blaming it all on being a poor volunteer and the gas stove. I didn’t really eat anything healthy yesterday, so that probably contributed to my meltdown. I literally just sat on the floor and cried. Mommmmmmy, I can’t even cook rice! The chicken was way beyond bad, like not even worth trying it was so bad. The burned rice pan is still soaking. I am going to lose a lot of weight at this rate. I only ever baked food back home. I have never used a gas stove. And I have only made rice once before in my life. So yeah, why I thought this meal would be semi-decent, is beyond me. Needless to say, I made some local chickens and goats very happy. I better learn soon though how to cook otherwise the next two years are going to suck haha. Luckily, I know of two excellent places to get extremely cheap heaping portions of delicious food. Unfortunately, they are a slight hike uphill. So my new game plan is to get chop (code for street food) either in the morning or after 2pm and have that as my lunch. Breakfast I can do. Dinner, I will make salads or eat fruit. There is a place just outside of the taxi station that sells waakye – which is rice and beans with gari. It is delicious and the beans are a good source of protein. Best part? A giant bag of it is only 50p. HOLLA. There is my favorite place that sells rice with salad and chicken. It is so tasty. That’s 2cd and totally worth it. My next goal is to find some 1cd bankou and I will be in business.

2. Friday, I spent most of the day in Offuman with my counterpart registering farmers for the SAP app. Offuman is just around the corner, but up a giant effing hill of doom. No seriously, if we had been in a Jeep and going offroading it would have been crazy cool. But we were in an old towncar that barely made it up the hill without the car falling apart. Anyway, we were registering farmers when this guy comes up to me and starts harassing me. He tries to steal the registration papers, my camera, and my pen. He then starts slapping me, first it is just slapping my arms and hands. Then he punched me a few times in the back and in the arms. It wasn’t very hard, but it was still enough to hurt. The Ghanaians start getting really pissed and they are screaming at him. He sits down and is still heckling me. He then calls me German girl and says I only know how to speak German. So I yelled at him in German. Smile I turn around and he comes over and hits me again. I am so angry at this point, but I am juggling 40 papers and a camera. I am trying to just ignore him. Finally he leaves and everyone is grateful. I figured he was just drunk or not all there, if you know what I mean.

So, this morning I get a call from my counterpart. She is going back to Offuman to register a few more farmers. She then tells me: “remember that guy that was harassing you? He passed out.” So I laughed slightly and she said “yeah, he is dead” WAIT WHAT. Passed out is not dead. “Do you mean dead, dead?!” “Yeah, dead dead” Silence. “Holy cow.” So all morning I am in total shock and freaking out slightly because I thought that maybe the villagers killed him. Ghanaians have their own justice system here.

I head over to my counterpart’s house for some free food – god bless her. She is the only reason I haven’t passed out from starvation yet. And she tells me the whole story. So, he was drunk that morning we were there. And he continued drinking the rest of the day. I wanted to do a drinking contest with someone, so he drank an entire bottle of apeteshie. Aka moonshine. AN ENTIRE BOTTLE. In a very short period of time. I am not sure how they found him, but they guess he died from alcohol poisoning.

I am still sorta freaked out though because it is just so weird. One day this guy is harassing me and the next he shows up dead?! I have spent the entire day just wide-eyed and in shock. This was the last experience I thought I would have in Ghana.

So, Mom, Dad – I wasn’t actually hurt at all from him hitting me, just angry. Although a few Ghanaians told me they were proud of me for holding my own. I was never in any serious harm, which is good. But still, overall a really strange, weird, sad, and bad experience.

FYI – farmer registration went really well that day though! We accomplished what we wanted to.

The last few days really have been like twilight zone though!

4 thoughts on “Meltdowns and Mayhem

  1. Yikes! Caitlin! That would really freak me out, both when he was harrassing you AND when he showed up dead later. 😦

    In other news…was the entire thing of rice burned or just the layer on the bottom? Because you can usually eat the stuff on top and just don’t mess with the burned layer. Sometimes rice just burns; it’s so sticky.

    Maybe your counterpart would give you Ghanaian cooking lessons. That could be fun! But at least street food sounds pretty cheap. Guess we’ll just need to send you bigger boxes of candy. ^____^

  2. Hang in there Caitlin – obviously a strange overall situation, I think you handled it very well – just remember – there might be another encounter like that one, be careful and always keep an eye on your surroundings. Never know when someone like that will reappear down the distant road. The locals will take care of you, I am proud of you holding yourself together. No worries.. I can’t cook rice either… I will send you some quick rice meals… for those days when you want some..

  3. So sorry you had to go through the ordeal with the guy. I know that was upsetting. He was alcoholic and nothing you could have done about it.

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