Of Course She Had a Baby at Twelve, She’s Muslim


This morning Justine and I woke up late… by an hour.  Willan came back to the house with us, and he was also late for his internship- usually he leaves before I wake up, and this morning he had breakfast with me.  After he left Justine and I lazed around, she cleaned her room and I washed my hair.  We finally decided to leave at 10AM, and headed happily towards the trotro station.

At the office we played a few hands of Rummy, and then I conducted an interview for another woman who had finished her loan.  We got FanIces (I don’t think I have mentioned that this is the best ice cream ever.  I will very much miss it back home) and relaxed for another few hours.  During this time Dorcas gave us a bit more insight about her opinions of Muslims.  She stated that one of our clients (the same one that looked old because of her head scarf and diet) could very possibly have had her first child at twelve because she is Muslim.  It was very frustrating trying to explain to her that not all Muslim women marry at 10 and have children in early adolescence.  Eventually I gave up and went back to looking at my computer screen.  What befuddles us is that Dorcas was schooled at Cape Coast University, one of the premiere West African schools.  On top of this, she studied Sociology and Economics (on a previous day she told us that if we tried to calculate the profit of each box of fried rice lunch we would get a wrong number, that we could only calculate it in bulk), which you would think should have a strong grounding in open-mindedness and cultural relativism (gasp).

Anyhow, I had a stomach ache in the afternoon so I left Justine and Dorcas to teach the English lessons and went home where there was a working toilet.  After flushing, I did a bit of laundry (I am so behind on it!) and watched Atonement (highly recommended, very depressing but I understand why it won so many awards).  When I next saw Justine she told me that Aisha had gone to her family land today, so the school was closed.  This meant going home early.

Unfortunately now Justine’s computer has a virus in a bad way.  Programs keep disappearing everyday (to the land of Beyond) and her computer curses at her with French messages and loud beeps.  It is quite frightening, and I feel bad for her because our computers are our lifelines here in Pokuase.

Practical Ghanaian Travel Tip #63: Akpeteshie (pronounced aperteshy) is a distinctly Ghanaian spirit.  It is made from distilled palm wine, and is the strongest locally produced liquor in the country.  Also, it is only 10 pesewas for a shot.  If you think like I do this means a great night for under 1 Cedi.  Also, the smell is deceiving.  It smells like rubbing alcohol but has no taste on the way down.  Take this from the girl who can barely manage shots of vodka.  Beware however, Ghanaians will claim that it is 80% alcohol.  I would argue it is closer to 30%.

One Response to “Of Course She Had a Baby at Twelve, She’s Muslim”

  1. Dad Says:

    Hi Christina

    I haven’t posted in a while but I read everyday, I even saw some pics on FB.
    You had me worried for a second with the stomach ache but you seem to have knocked it off.
    Only 3 weeks left, enjoy it and make the most of your time.
    Let me know if you can get an Afro beat CD, nothing crazy, maybe even a mixed one from a vendor, since seeing Fela a couple weeks ago I can’t get the music out of my head.

    So you have to explain the alcohol and Muslim mix to me at some point.


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