Saturday, December 10, 2005

KOA (Kampgrounds of Accra)

Okay, mundane household items day.

Our stove, well here it's actually called a 'cooker', is a very nice six burner with oven. Four of the burners are gas, two are electric and the oven is gas.

Now remember where I live. We do not have gas piped to our house. We barely have water and electricity piped to our house. So how, might you ask, do I use my gas cooker?

Give up?

I have a five gallon LPG tank in a cupboard under the kitchen counter. For ¢75,000 (about $8.30) I can fill it up at the local LPG filling station. That's what Duke and I set out to do Wednesday. I jumped in the car with my tank (well, actually, Duke threw it in the trunk) and we took off to fill it back up (but not before Duke shook it and declared it "finish").

First station. Closed. No gas.

Second station. Closed. No gas.

Whoops! Bad time to run out of cooker gas. Duke says there is a shortage of LPG all over town.

Third station. Closed. No gas.

We are running out of time to get the gas and still get to school to pick Cooper up on time, but never fear- this is Duke's town and station #4 has gas! Woohoo!

This station is near Duke's house and the man who is working there knows him and has apparently decided that Duke should have asked for more money from me (Obroni tax). Duke declined to overcharge me for the gas and the man is upset with him. They are speaking, loudly, in Twi and it's apparent that the man is angry about not getting extra money and Duke is annoyed that he would insist. Duke gets a ¢500 coin (20 cents) from the ashtray and gives it to the man without looking at him. He declines to give me details, but he I know he is weary of his countrymen trying to get money from me for nothing just because I'm an Obroni. I feel bad for him.

We get to school in plenty of time to pick up Cooper (Duke says: "I was worried we would get there and he would be having to sit and wait for us. He would wait patiently though he would also say, where is my Duke?") So, "Where is my Duke" angst averted, we are now in possession of a whole new tankful of cooker gas, which apparently will last us about five months. Unless I cook a turkey or something. Haven't seen a turkey alive or dead since I got here though, so we're probably safe from that happening.

This is a good time to point out that living with candles, propane tanks in the kitchen, showers with holes in the wall for drains, and lizards in every room of the house has caused us to frequently joke about living in the really coolest campground we have ever visited. KOA- Kampgrounds of Accra. Come visit anytime!