sarah at last

just a few. And by no means the last. Our beautiful Noeline and beads from TK (second trip). Sarah’s solo act in Romeo and Juliet next. xo

Noeline and Allegra

Powdered glass beads17 March I was treated to three rainstorms today. I was ahead of the storm about 20 kilometers (that took one hour to drive) outside of Accra at TK Beads. They make glass beads on the premises. It was incredible to see the whole process from crushing bottles with an over-sized rusted steel mortar and pestle (used by hand of course) to powder. (The man that was showing me the process had a good chuckle when he stuck his hand into a bucket of glass powder and I was shocked (feigned) that he didn’t get cut). From the glass powder they re-fire the glass in small molds (maybe 7 or 8 beads per mold) made from that yellowish clay material you find in kilns. They put the molds in low clay ovens. From there, they stick twigs in the molten glass to make the hole. Next they take the dry beads, fill up 18-inch sticks with them, and paint them one by one and then fire on that glaze. It was fun to see how they strung the beads together in their jewelry portion. The brochure has a straight road like the one above, with an arrow from the left saying “From Akosombo” (isn’t that a great name of a city?) and from the right saying “From Accra.” It indicates that TK Beads is just after the police barrier. What the map doesn’t tell you is how many times you go from pavement to dirt back to pavement along the way, or that the building is in back of the row in back. (No, seriously, this place is much bigger than Tet Beads). But this gets me off this week’s topic: Bike riding. Jeff is our super-duper bicyclist. I tag along sometimes to the mall, and now we’ve got Allegra riding the 3km to Fiesta Royale to go swimming with us. Allegra and I are on our thrasher mountain bikes; Jeff is on his somewhat studly mountain bike. There are a few similarities with riding in Sonoma County like potholes and traffic. And then there are the differences… Sure both places have their share of potholes, however if you screw up in Accra you end up in an open sewer.You are almost always FASTER on your bike than by taxi.The speed bumps here make the ones at home look like they need training bras.The number of traffic lanes depends on the width of the road and the shoulder and the length of the entry to the Shell station and the …We can bike 15 minutes and be at a primate care center with 15-20 endangered monkeys. They are well cared for and have roomy cages. They are pretty funny. They love to hang on the bars, spread eagle, wagging their weiners at you. (If they only knew how teeny-weeny their wankers were, maybe they would show them off so readily)If you happen to bike into the Achimota Forest where the primates reside on a Sunday, you are treated to a “priest” speaking in tongues about every 200-300 meters. The place is packed with people carrying their picnics and their plastic chairs to these mini-churches/sermons all throughout the forest. Otherwise, the place is deserted the rest of the time. In fact, one of our colleagues and her daughter that live on the other side of the forest sometimes go through it (all red clay roads) to make a “short cut” driving to school.Children like to run along with you.The moment you sit on the bike, you start sweating like a pig. (Do pigs sweat?)At any time you can stop a Fan Ice guy and buy a meat pie, or if you prefer, a Fan Pop (pineapple flavored ice—15 cents) or a Fan Ice Vanilla or a Choco Fan (vanilla 30 cents, chocolate 35 cents).Men peeing. I passed 2 of them on the 3 “block” trip home between classes today.A (pack?) of goats, usually 5-7, strolling the streets, looking for something tasty to ingest.A make-shift kitchen, a small collective of women, 2 or 3, and one youngster washing dishes, who have set up shop to serve breakfast. All you need is a fire, a pot, and a bench for your customers. 25 March It was a 4 shower day. I could go for number 5, but I just got out of number 4. I have wiped more sweat off my upper lip, down the side of my face, and off my brow than ever before.