Saturday, January 29, 2011

As the Credit Unions are not open on Saturdays we had the day to ourselves to explore some of Kumasi and the surrounding area. Our Credit Union driver Emmanuel was gracious enough to take his day off, and drive us around to see some sights of Kumasi, we started the day with a trip just out of town to see where they make Kente cloth. Kente cloth or nwentoma as it is known locally is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan people of Ghana. The cloth that was being made was beautiful and was done so on weaving machines that were spread through out the village that we were visiting. The villagers were gracious enough to demonstrate how they use the weaving machines to make the cloth it was absoultely remarkable. We then purchased some cloth to bring home with us. After we watched the cloth being made another couple of village gentlemen took us to visit their Cocoa farm. They pulled a cocoa pod from the tree and broke it open inside there were seeds that were white in color and were very silky feeling. You took the seed from the pod and chewed on it, however you did not eat the seed completely once the white silky coating was gone you spit the seed out. Apprently if you eat the seed it can make you sick. It was very sweet and not at all what I would have expected a cocoa seed to taste like. They were very good. Apparently once they dry them out that is when you get the chocolate taste and you are able to eat the entire seed. Ghana is known for it's cocoa and the wonderful chocolate that is made with it. After going to the farm we headed back into town where we were able to visit Emmanuels home where we met his two sons and some of his neighbours. We watched some of the women make bannok, soup and we met Emmanuels Grandmother. We then headed for some supper and found a place that made pizza and watched Emmanuel eat his first piece of pizza ever. We felt is was only fair as since we have been here he has insisted we try eating grass cutter, drink coconut milk from a fresh coconut, and eat cocoa seeds. He loved the pizza, can't say we felt the same about the grass cutter! Good night again from Kumasi. Lennie Hampton

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