Friday Wears and Spectacles in Nungua, Accra

I’ve been living at Grandpa’s house for almost three days now, and already I feel very comfortable here.   Yesterday, Grandpa took me on a brief tour of the neighborhood, which is called Nungua.  We walked to a dressmaker where Grandpa says he will have a traditional Ghanian dress made for me.  “Na”, he began, “On Friday, Ghanian school children all wear traditional clothes. It’s called Friday wears. When you go to school, every Friday you wear traditional clothes.” [aside: most of my family in Ghana call me Nana, Na, or Nanagyemang because Adelaide is difficult for them to say. Although, my parents usually call me Nana as well.] Grandpa said he will bring them to me at school, so I’m really excited to see what dress I’ll get! I’ve never had a tailored anything before, come to think of it.

This is the dress grandpa bought for me! He brought it to campus after I left home.

Life here is simple—there is no internet or running water—and the house is almost always surrounded by people primarily the number of people in the house (anywhere from 5-8).  When I walk around Nungua, people tend to stare at me, and today, I understood the reason why.  Initially I thought it was the fact that I wore my shirt inside out today (whoops!) but after I changed, my Uncle Old Man explained that really it’s because of my glasses, which they call spectacles. Most people my age either can’t afford or can’t access glasses if they need them, so that indicate I’m probably not from here.  That assumption becomes glaringly obvious once I speak, and also by the clothes I wear.  Whenever I see children wearing glasses (so far only 2!), I start stare now too.