I went on a six week vacation to Ghana this Christmas. I know, six weeks. Believe me, logistics were involved. I was born there to Ghanaian parents who moved to Canada when I was two. The culture has been a rich constant in my life, like eating the food (okra soup, please) and being scolded by my parents in both the official languages of English and Twi. Plus, I have visited, volunteered, worked, and been proposed to there.
Since I said yes to my husband Ian five years ago, we had a daughter and decided it was important for her to meet the family. That, and we liked the idea of free childcare so we could party until 5 a.m. the week after Christmas.
It was an awesome time. Here are five highlights.
Togo Fetish Market:
The very first thing we did was join Adventure Junkies Ghana on their 3-day trip to Lome, Togo. Our mixed group of expats, volunteers and locals gelled pretty quickly and we all enjoyed the Akodessewa Fetish Market. Here, the word fetish is understood in its original sense: the attribution of mystical qualities to inanimate objects. The practice of voodoo started in West Africa, and this is the oldest market for everything voodoo, from horse head bones to wooden dolls with large genitals to tails of all kinds. It’s like a big pharmacy for traditional healers. If you want to buy something, they take you to a small room, a fetish priest will present a few items like a doll to protect your home or talismans for travelers. Then you decide what you want, he’ll make you touch it three times to your chest or blow someone’s name into the item and then you haggle on the price.