December 05, 2011

ok, i'm an expat

we are 'expats', whether we want to be considered such or not.  at first i couldn't identify with this term at all. in fact, i wanted nothing to do with it.  i am not a foreigner whose life is characterized by all of the trappings of an expat -- typically spending a lot of money and spending most of one's time on things of this world that do nothing to benefit humanity.  i know, a gross generalization.  but i've observed enough to realize it's basically true.  the reason, then, that i have accepted we are expats is because we do rely on the local supermarket to purchase items that the typical ghanaian doesn't buy -- though it must be said that the new generation of wealthy ghanaians, especially those who have returned from england, nigeria or the states, is also purchasing these kinds of items.
Dyami & Domani Douglas serving mac cheese for Thanksgiving dinner
first on my list for being an ex-pat is butter (second might be cheese!).  we go through butter so quickly but it costs 6 cedi for 200grams.  i'm not one to understand life in terms of numbers and statistics but i know this is very expensive for the quantity we're purchasing! 

i made a list of everything we buy that is incredibly expensive for what it's worth, it would be very long.  everything from milk to biscuits to dried beans to soy sauce. the local ghanaian eats very nicely and inexpensively with locally caught fish and locally grown peppers, tomatoes, palm oil, onions and a wide array of seasonings, grains, fruits and vegetables.  we have incorporated much of it into our daily diet, but somehow we cannot see living without imported dried beans (which make a variety of soups and stews depending on the spices used), macaroni and cheese once in a while, and the occasional soy burger or sausage.  so i now accept that in this way i am an ex-pat in the eyes of the ghanaian people. :)

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