Travel Journal

Accra - September 24-25 - Twi, Drum and Dance lessons

(Wednesday 26 September 2007) by Karin
Maache (good morning). First word in our first lesson of Twi. Replies not as easy as they are different depending on the person you talk to. Yaa nu will be the response if you talk to a person of the same age group or a little older. Yaa Ena for a woman who is older, Yaa agya for a man who is older or Yaa oba for a younger person. Try to remember all of it...... And then there is the prononciation. :-( Poor Daniel listening to me butchering his language. And then to think that where I go I won't even be able to use it as they speak another language there.
Tongue twisting exercises where followed by leg and arm exercises. Stephen tries to teach us the Kpatsa dance. Another African Dance (from the Greater Accra area) where we imitate dwarfs. Looks a bit like a smurf dance. No pictures.... just use your imagination..... :-D.
We finish the morning with our drum lesson. Good fun and once I get the beat it is not that difficult but until then..... The hard part is that the rythm changes constantly.
Music is big here though. Everywhere you go you hear music. Outside, inside, it is a very noisy city. And busy busy. Traffic is awful. And the driving is crazy. Not sure that there are any traffic rules here. And I don't think I've ever been in such a stinky city..... mainly the open sewers and exhaust gases. Don't know if I ever get used to the smell here. Brussels smells like roses compared to this.
It is really colorful though. I am still amazed at how young and old manages to carry baskets, furniture, suitcases, etc on their head. It really is hard to describe this city. You have to see it for yourself. Sometimes you have to be able to ignore the people. Otherwise you never get where you want to go as everyone want to sell you something. But I guess that is what you can expect in a third world country.
After a very short night with very little sleep I had a very hard time in the Twi class on Tuesday. The dogs, several together in a very small box just outside our window, made so much noise last night that it was just about impossible to sleep. I kept turning and tossing just like the others. An awful night and I would have gladly slept a bit longer but my intestins are having a bit of a hard time these days and made me get up before six. I guess some of the food isn't really agreeing with me.
Didn't do much better in the dance class. Got totally confused with two parts of the dance that, in my eyes, resemble so much that I kept messing up. Luckily I was doing a bit better in drum class.
I also spent some time today trying to find out which logo's I want on my drum, Kpanlogo. The writings were easy..... my names... Karin and Efua (that's my name in Ghanaian, which means 'born on Friday' for a girl).
My time is almost up so Dayie.
Karin

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