Off the beaten path, and I mean OFF the beaten path you will find a lovely quaint little village known as “Sankana.” Katie’s aunt, Mimi, spent two glorious years in Sankana while in the Peace Corps. It was our mission, with the help of a 5 pictures and a few local names, to find all of Mimi’s friends from her time here. We began our search at 7:15 am under a large tree, and by 7:30 we were drinking “pito” (local brew) out of calabash bowls with a man named Kwame Kumfra, one of Mimi’s good friends. This was the beginning of a very eventful day. We got a taste of true African Village life. Kwame introduced us to many villagers who knew Mimi, and he showed us her house complete with a tour of the inside which now has electricity. We also came upon some white chalk written on the wall spelling “die ants.” Apparently while Mimi was living here 11 years ago she was told that the magic juju chalk would fix her massive ant problem. There were no ants, so maybe it worked. If you would like to order some magic juju chalk to help with your insect problems, please contact Kwame Kumfa in Wa, Ghana Upper West Region. Don’t worry, if you need to find him personally you just go to the large tree, drink pito and ask for the chalk man. They will kindly point you in the right direction.
Also in Sankana we were fortunate enough to try a local dish yet to be tasted by yours truly Megan and Katie, and NEVER to be tasted again. EVER! EVER! You will never find something so utterly repulsive in your life as this dish known as, Sao/Teazzard (a slimy dough substance poop ball) eaten with green shoup (as Kwame called it, we think he meant soup, but we prefer to use the local dialect). Katie was smart enough to stay far away from the green “shoup” however I am an idiot and flet drawn in by the slimy green cassava leaves in sandy liquid. NEVER again will I be duped into something this exotic and green shoupyness. Sick… Mimi, how did you live here? In order to even begin to describe the taste of the green shoup you need to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and try to imagine the most horrendous smell you have ever come across… this is the taste of green shoup. Now, combine the smell of a truck stop bathroom multiply that by 5 then add that to the smell of month old stagnant water combined with dirty diapers and topped off with (nope, not a cherry) but a dash of sand and a hint of (not salt) vomit. This was one tenth of the green shoup experience. Not only did tears form in my eyes, they ran down my face as I ever so slyly warned Katie to stay away from the green shoup and smiled at Kwame’s mother who kindly prepared the shoup and stated “this is delicious.” (keeping in mind she spoke no English, I hope my smile was more convincing than the tears on my face)…I’m a big fat liar. However we did receive more pito after this, which I kindly handed over to Katie (I don’t even like beer, let alone local fly covered brew). So, I carried my cross and Katie carried hers. Champs? I think so.
The end of our Sankana experience was a little more uplifting. We met Jacob, Mimi’s next door neighbor and good friend. He put us in touch with his brother Nicholas who had moved to Wa and opened his own welding shop due to the kindness of Mimi who put him through apprenticeship school while she was here. Nicholas ended up being the greatest discovery of Wa (next to the invitation we received to become the next wives of chief of Wa). We tried convincing Nicholas that we would be great apprentices to welding, so he let us have a go at it. Success! He also drove us all around town on his motorcycle and we had the chance to meet his wife and daughter.