My Aunts Mabena (Mah-beh-nah) and Ama (Ah-mah) own a small store here in Nungua, which surprised me a lot. I don’t think I have any other relatives who own and operate a small business, but really that belief could change tomorrow! It’s attached to the house where a garage would be and it’s stocked with various provisions.
Today I spent most of the day sitting in this shop with my small cousins (Mabena’s children) and watched the way my Aunts interacted with their numerous customers. My Aunt Ama is hysterical, and teases everyone who comes to buy something. At first I thought she was good friends with them all since they came from the nearby, but twice she cracked jokes at the expense of people whose names she didn’t even know.
She made fun of these women who came to the store with bras and lingerie (other merchants will come travel with their goods and sell things to physical store fronts and individuals) and tried to bring me in on the joke by making me say that their bras were hideous, but I thought they were kind of cute. So then Ama started teasing me about my English and how trying to talk to me was killing her. “My English is no good, Na! And look, Kofi runs away every time you come because his is worse!” Her next prank was to try and catch my Uncle Kofi and make him speak to me in English, which would apparently have been a very funny event. I’m always asleep, it seems, when Kofi is around, but I’ve decided that when we meet, I will speak in my broken Twi and he can use his broken English.