some kids, shocked by the van-full of whiteys passing by...
Woe (pronounced "Way") is a small township on the south eastern coast of Ghana. It's located on the Keta Peninsula, and is the site of one of three Cross-Cultural Solutions residences. We stayed here for 3 days for orientation and exploration, and the volunteers who were assigned to this site were introduced to their new home. Woe is very tranquil and rural. We didn't see many people walking outside, there are no sidewalks, and no gas station that I know of. On the beach, which was a 20 minute walk from the house, you could see crowds of men drawing in their hand-carved fishing boats. It looked like a very arduous task that involved the entire crew synchronizing their muscle strength together to pull the boat back up to shore.
Then they would unravel their fishing nets and bring back the goods to the women, who would sell them at the market. The oceans in Ghana, unlike in the U.S., is mainly used for survival, not for pleasure. People fish, bathe, and "relieve" themselves in the ocean. For this reason, there are designated private beaches where people can enjoy themselves without having to worry about contaminated waters. We felt a bit better swimming in private beaches, though we all knew that outside water does not automatically stop at the private beach line...
Woe and it's surroundings are beautiful, but there isn't much to do. There was one bar that we often visited, that served Star beer and bottled sodas. Beer is 10,000 to 15,000 cedis (about $1-1.
50), and soda is 4000 cedis (about 40 cents). There are people sitting outside of little huts, selling oranges, candy, and other little treats. Once a week, the local women hold an open air market, selling all your daily needs-- dried fish, grilled corn, okra, peanut butter balls, plastic containers, saks of water, soap, hand dyed cloth, jewelry... On our first outing, the staff encouraged us to try to ask "how much?" and try to bargain with the women. I was too shy and could only say "hello, how are you." The Ghanaians were impressed with this simple phrase alone and would react in thunderous cheer! I couldn't wait to be able to communicate with them more.