From my god daughter’s father who is the Guatemalan ambassador just recently posted to India.
I plan on headed to Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar in July. I’ll have to check out these seaweed farms and maybe see if I can teach a woman or two how to swim!!
Truth in fact. Here in Ghana, most clothes are sold in “dead Obruni” piles for 1GHC or the equivalent of less than $0.50USD. However, the Ghanaians don’t feel as though it is a “you are better than us” type of hand-me-down as noted in the article. Instead, they find most of the clothes too nice to accept that we just gave/threw them away. They believe that someone must have died and that’s why we gave the clothes away.
As a Peace Poor (Corps) volunteer, I, myself have bought several items of clothing from the dead Obruni and even the dead Indian piles. However, tradition and custom still live on here in Ghana with its vibrant fabric designs and colors and now many of my clothes are handmade by Ghanaian tailors from cloth bought here in Ghana, including some batik print I created myself! Ghanaians, women in particular, are very proud of their traditional wear and love to show it off by dressing to the nines on market days and at weddings, funerals and festivals.
Additionally, Ghanaians often find luck in the dead clothes pile by way of foreign currency. Many times I have been approached to identify and calculate the exchange rate of some random coin or bill found in trouser pockets, mostly Asian currency.
Incidentally, it is not just American clothes which find their way to Ghana. As noted above there are Indian clothes piles with beautiful scarves, pashminas, saris and more. I bought a Bavarian dirndl in my own village, along with dresses from England and Switzerland - the one from Switzerland still smelling of laundry soap and fabric softener so that I didn’t wash it for quite some time despite several wearings because those were smells I hadn’t smelled in such a long time.
"Seconds" or clothes with errors are also found in numbers here, mostly from Asian factories with misspellings such as, "Cucci" (Gucci); "Lacqste" (Lacoste); and still my favorite as worn by my village counterpart when I first met him, "Plag Bog" (Play Boy)!!