We Eat To Live

We travel slightly outside of Ho on Wednesdays to be with EP Primary Sokode-Bagble. Red Sandstone Elementary students send Food Wheels with foods they love and the ingredients in them. The concept of two pages, turning and revealing culinary treasures is eye opening for them. They take some time to absorb the process of working with the wheel themselves, and sharing in their own delights. Next door, a class also connected to the Vail community, puts together puzzles of agriculture in CO. Letters are joyfully received from and the students smile as they share the photos that are attached of their VMS freinds. We are quite surprised to learn that 7 students are no longer in this class since our last visit, and there is also a new teacher. Hanook jumps right in, completing his own puzzle, and helping students interpret their letters. They share about their own favorite foods, and brainstorm for the mural they will create. At EP JSS later, we are working with two classes paired with Georgia schools, St. Andrew’s School and Galloway. We joke about an Iron Chef cook-off, as the SAS students have shared a cookbook “We Can Cook”, and Galloway students have also taken photos, in some cases step-by-step, of some of their family favorites. We are interrupted by the bell for break, and let the students dismiss for snack time. This is a good opportunity to also photo some of their daily snacks. A good many students remain in the classroom to take a deeper look at the projects and the books we have brought with us. We share the measuring cups and spoons sent form the Galloway 6th graders, and chuckles fill the room. The concept of measuring is foreign, especially for the large meals that are cooked for extended families here. We catch them later, taking a closer look with a little more curiosity. In addition to returning letters, and sharing foods, some take to working in groups to draw farms, crops, and the trade routes in West Africa. Duck tape is shared, for the posters of a more complex transportation system in the US, and posters about food waste, are hung on barren grey walls. While we all certainly eat to live, as we have seen in the sharing of these projects, our connection to food, and how we gather together in growing, shopping, and preparing is more of a celebration of culture and place. We enjoy the bustle of the busy market days, and the familiar faces of the vendors and farmers we give thanks for with each meal. We have to admit, we are looking forward to returning to the abundant variety we have at home, yet we remain thankful for the nourishment that helps us live in Ghana.