Monday, 23 July 2012

The 10 Common Bits

Well, by the means of a very helpful 'If You Need Blog Ideas, Read This' letter (thanks Jeanniene!) I am going to start a series of blogs focusing on lists!

First edition - 10 Items I use every day in Ghana!

The Scrubberdoodle - I don't really know what this is actually called, but I use it on a daily basis.  It is kind of like the Ghanaian equivalent of a  loofah.  It is made of plastic and about feels kind of like rubbing yourself down with a pot scrubber - but once you get used to it, it is amazing.  These things are a godsend for keeping you squeaky clean and your skin all nice and exfoliated.  Whatever that means.

I keep the knife for the real tough ones
T-Roll - Call it what you want. T-roll, Toilet paper, poo tickets - it is something that you need to use on a fairly regular basis.  In Canada this isn't really a problem - you find a bathroom, you do your business, you clean up with the TP in the bathroom.  In Ghana this is not the case.  You carry your own around - not just for when you have to go in the bush, but for when you use any sort of public washroom or anything like that.  Some of the public places are nice enough to sell you t-roll, but even in some of the guesthouses I have stayed at it is a bring-your-own system. 

Flippy-Floppies - I have worn these things more in the last 3 months than I ever have in my life.  The basic rule of thumb is don't be barefoot, this helps avoid any creepy crawlies invading your body, any nasty cuts, and that really annoying thing where dirt gets stuck to the bottom of your foot and gets really uncomfortable and no mater what you do you can't get rid of it all. 

A Hanky - Another item that I never really saw the use for.  Until I started living in a place that when it is 27 degrees I am shivering.  This thing has been useful for keeping me from drowning in my own drippings, and it works really great for keeping all of the change in your pockets from falling out or getting lost!

This camera takes pictures of itself.  Narcisnap.
The 'Snap' Machine - This one isn't really a necessity, but for the amount of use this beauty has seen I had to include it on the list.  I have taken just under 1000 pictures so far, so that would be an average of around 5 a day.  Some of these have been good, some not so good - but I am definately glad I brought a compact point and shoot rather than a nice DSLR.  This thing has been in the lake, dropped in fufu, fallen off of a moto and sat on a few times and it is still truckin.  Good job Sony.

The Bucket - These buckets are used for everything.  Cleaning clothes, flushing toilets, getting water for food, ext. ext.  Almost anything that requires more than 500ml of water involves one of the numerous buckets around the compound. 
This would be the black one
Side Note:  The bucket hierarchy - There are quite a few buckets in the compound, knowing which one to use for which purpose is vital for smooth living and not having another person living in the compound run over and correct you.  
  • Purple Bucket - This is the bathing bucket.  Fill with the small blue bucket or the black bucket that has a grip on the handle
  • Little Blue Bucket - This is the filling bucket.  It is designated for transferring water from the rainbarrels to the other buckets.
  • Black Bucket (with grip) - This is another filling bucket (I think).  It gets used very rarely, I think it is specifically designated for transferring water from the rainbarrel that they fill with water from the bore hole.  I don't use this bucket out of fear.
  • Black Bucket (no gip) - This would be the toilet bucket.  Fill with the small blue bucket.  Do not attempt to use for any other purpose or risk the wrath of everyone around.
  • The Metal Bucket - This bucket is used washing clothes and sometimes water transfer.  The only person who uses it for transfer is the head of the house.  I do not.
  • The Basin - A large metal bowl used for washing clothes.  Fill with water from the purple bucket after you fill the purple bucket with the small blue bucket

Mirror: 2GhC Not Carving My Face: Priceless
The Mirror - This is used for obvious purposes.  Mainly shaving and assisting in contact lens removal and insertion.  Mirrors aren't really common, and I haven't gotten the hang of shaving by feel without ending up looking like I shaved with a chunk of rusty iron. 

The Plug Converter - Well, none of the plugs for anything I own work in Ghana - so a converter is a neccesity.  Bonus points go to the wicked power bar I found that has a volt meter (I have seen some places that are running around 260... I didn't plug anything in) and built in converters.  It is nice to be able to charge my phone and camera at the same time as well. 

I need to stop trying to take artsy pictures
Pure Watah - These little bags are very useful.  They are around 7 cents a piece, 500ml of good drinking water.  I have been warned against some brands as they may be less pure than the name implies.  You can find them fairly regularly and seeing a camping cooler with cold water is a very good feeling while sitting in a hot tro after a long day.

I REALLY need to stop...
The Magic Head Lamp Ft. Rechargeable Batteries - This baby is worth it's weight in gold.  Besides being able to take weird washed out pictures it is very useful for when the power is out and I would like to read, or do anything for that matter.  There is no better feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to use the bathroom and can actually find your way without waking up everyone within hearing distance the buckets you will hit.

Stay tuned for the next blog, The 5 Things Ghanians Do Better Than Canadians and Visa Versa

Keep your stick on the ice,



  1. scrubberdoodle = sponge to Ghanaians

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