Going to the market circle in our town is quite an experience. It is truly an adventure when the whole family goes! Our children did not have school today. We needed to get some material to have some outfits made. So, we loaded up and headed to town.
The market in Takoradi, Ghana, is set up in a unique fashion. There is a circle that is one mile in circumference. All the way around the outside of the circle, there are little stores. There is also a roadway that is off to the side of the road right in front of the little stores. It is full of people sitting on stools or buckets selling their wares that include fruits, vegetables, dried fish, cooking utensils, cleaning supplies, cooking supplies, shoes, clothes, and just about anything you can imagine. The people sitting on buckets or stools have not paid for a booth in the market; they are just “squatters.” From time to time, the market police come through, and the “squatters” put their wares on their head and take off running.
Inside the circle, there are many different rows of little shanty type stalls. Walking through there is kind of like going through a maze. You might pass the pigs’ feet on your way to get fabric. Or, you might have to step aside for a whole cow that is being carried through.
As we were driving around the circle today looking for a parking space, Bonnie said, “I’m going to pray that we make it out of here!” She bowed her head, closed her eyes, and prayed right then that God would help us to get out of that circle. I forgot to mention that there is also an open sewer ditch that runs along the outside of that roadway where the vendors sit on their stools and buckets. The ditch is covered with cement, but there are big openings every few yards. The smell is worse on some days than others. It was a nice, sunny day today; so, the smells were quite strong. That was with the windows up and the AC on!
My husband and I were just praying for a parking space. We passed several cars that were double parked. The Lord had saved us a parking space right at the end of the parking area.
We got out of the car and put the buddy system into play immediately. My husband had a boy on each side, and Bonnie was my “partner.” As we ventured inside the market circle, we had to form a single-file line to squeeze through. We made it to the row where we needed to turn to head to see a lady who sells fabric. After we got the fabric, she took us to the tailor. He got the boys’ measurements. Then, we went to see the seamstress. All the while, people were talking to us in Fante. When Bonnie greeted them in Fante and told them that her Fante name was “Yaa Baby,” they went wild. Everyone wanted to talk to Yaa Baby after that.
Just as we got back to the outside of the circle, here came the market police. Women were running in all directions to avoid the police.
When we got back to the car, the parking attendant was there waiting to be paid. She tried to make us pay double the price because we had been there “so long.” When we told her that we had been there for less than thirty minutes, she took the fifty pesewas ($.25) like she was supposed to. The cost is fifty pesewas per hour.
And thus we survived another trip to the market circle!
Until next week, keep your sunny side up!