The picture that you see is my view during dinners at the Fairhill Guesthouse here in Cape Coast. I stayed in the main Fairhill Guesthouse last year, since the program uses the Fairhill Annex in nearby Abura and when I first arrived, it was full of Davidson students and faculty. Last year, after the first night here in Cape Coast, I was awoken early by the call to prayer, but I couldn’t find the mosque anywhere nearby. Now that I walk the 2 kilometers into the main town, I found the small mosque that is located on a main road on the west side of town.
While the Fairhill Guesthouse is a little out of the way, it’s a very pleasant place to stay, and the owner is good friends with my colleague Nancy Fairley. They take good care of us, whether we are here alone or with the students every other summer. It also gives me the opportunity to walk small neighborhoods on the way to town (getting me in good shape with the heat!), so that I see things that I would miss if I was in a car.
At dinner last night, I re-discovered something about Ghanaian cuisine that I love – “shito sauce,” a hot sauce made from the puree of dried shrimp, peppers, and other ingredients that I need to inquire about. It adds a good kick to food like the rice dishes that I’ve been eating here, with a slightly salty seafood flavoring from the shrimp. I had forgotten about the sauce from last summer, but it was good to rediscover it last night. The power went out last night, and when I got back to the room after walking about town, it was hot; so I went out to the veranda to read and work before dinner, and stayed until just about sunset (and thankfully, the power came back on). Last night on the veranda was one of those moments that felt good – a bit of peace and comfort for the visiting anthropologist for whom Ghana is not home. As you can see from the picture, with my water bottle and Kindle in the forefront, I bring a little of home with me on the road. After getting the recipe for shito sauce, maybe I can bring back a little of Ghana home with me to North Carolina.