8 August, 11:00pm GMT - Asotwe, Ashanti Region

Our second outreach, in Asotwe, had a similar turnout of 76 patients. On the drive there, we watched Nigerian and Ghanian music videos. Ghanian music tends to be heavy on the autotune and sound somewhat like Hindi music in tone. The favorite of all the volunteers, including the group that preceded us, is Chop My Money by Akon, P Square, and May D. Of the songs we've heard here so far, here are some of our other favorites, or at least the ones I could find titles for:
      -   Over Again by Edem
      -   Lapaz Toyota by Guru
      -   Azonto Fiesta by Sarkodie, named after the azonto dance that seemingly everyone knew how to do (except us)
      -    Skin Tight by Kaaki
 
After the outreach, we went to Las Pallas for fufu (mashed yam in a spicy soup, much like banku) for lunch. After Las Pallas, we headed to the Cultural Center to buy handmade crafts from the artists and vendors there. I thought I would terrible at bargaining because taking the starting price is easier and avoids confrontation, but I discovered that bargaining is all about being sarcastic, deceitful, assertive, controlling, and never taking the vendor seriously, so it turns out I'm pretty good at it! I got a GHC30 wooden wall carving for 12, a GHC50 painted pot with three wooden statues holding it up (called a Unity bowl) for 25, a GHC35 backpack and a GHC20 messenger bag from someone who didn't want to bargain for 28 and 15, respectively, a GHC25 beaded elephant for 14, two GHC35 paintings for 17.5 each, a GHC20 painting for 10, plus some small items that I didn't bargain for (GHC1 earrings, GHC2 bracelets, and a necklace one vendor gave me for free since yesterday was my birthday.

I found that a combination of saying I found the same thing at another stand for half the price (which worked great since I got two things after Shreya bought them, so I gave her price as the price to beat), walking away if they didn't accept my final price, and explaining how you really didn't need the item helped bring the price down to half of the starting point. I also learned to recognize which vendors are the actual artists (who are less willing to bargain, use higher quality materials, are happy to explain the their pieces, and deserve a better price) and which vendors are selling mass-produced art (who are much more willing to bargain and tend to exaggerate how long the piece took the make). One artist that I bought the more expensive paintings from explained the inspiration behind his pieces and talked about the quality of his canvas and paints. The vendor next door, whom I bought the cheaper painting from, obviously wasn't the artist since the paintings had different signatures on the canvas, and he was more interested in talking about how good a price he was giving me (the “special student price”, he said) than the art itself.

I don't have many photos for today, so instead here's footage taken by Ricarda from one of our van rides. This is how we spent about three hours every day, not including four 6-8 hour van/bus trips going north/south across the country. On a typical day, you would hear a music video (like the one playing in the clip), a Ghanaian soap opera, Kyle XY, or No Ordinary Family (which we finished one season each of) playing on the TV. You can hear Roxane is talking in the background as we pass the outskirts of a village.


video

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