It’s a cold harmattan night. The low pitched humming, coming from the old 1970’s Mercedes Benz I was sitting in as it drove down the bumpy road towards Doryumu seems to be the only thing keeping me awake. There’s no light, aside from the bright headlights of the car and the few dimly lit kerosene lamps lighting up the little roadside container shops.
My grandparents had picked my little sister and me up earlier that day so we could spend the Christmas holidays with them in Doryumu. Usually, we would decline, but seeing as my parents had travelled to the Bahamas to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, we either had to go live with our horrid aunt Petunia and her strict rules or to go with them.
Doryumu isn’t a big village. It’s quite small with as little as 200 inhabitants that act together as though they come from one ancestry. It has roles with the largest and deepest poles ever and many mud houses. There is one failing public school, the Doryumu Presbyterian School and the inhabitants have the worst sanitation habits.
We pull up to my grandfather’s little home a little after 8. A small, blue and yellow 3 bedroom house with basics such as a shared bathroom and a kitchen. It wasn’t much, but being the most financially stable in the village, he seems to have almost everything that is luxurious by the townsfolk such as constant electricity and internet connection.
We walk into the house, inhaling the tantalizing smell of ‘chinchin’ chips my granny is frying. Grandpa shows us our room and we quickly fall asleep on the double bed we were meant to share without a shower, preparing ourselves for the long day we have ahead of us.
I wake up to the sound of the cockerel my granddads owns crowing at exactly 6:13am. I sit on the bedlike chair next to the window, watching the sun rise. I watch in awe as the large glowing ball of fire rises into the sky, throwing its rays all over the town, illuminating the various objects. I make my way towards the bathroom with my clothes to prepare for the new day. I walk towards the kitchen in my black overalls and white shirt. We sit down, and after greeting our grandparents, we dig into a local Ghanaian breakfast consisting of a millet porridge called ‘koko’ with a local doughnut called ‘bofrot’ and a bean dough-like food that goes by the name ‘koose’.
Soon after, we approach the town well and we realize the people there are mainly girls our age. The younger one run barefoot around squealing and playing games as the older ones, stand patiently in line for their turn to fetch water. As soon as they notice us they bow their heads, a sign of respect as we are members of the royal family. Our granny makes her way to towards the local women to talk discuss recent gossip. The local girls come to us and teach us how to play a traditional game known as ‘ampe’. The girls are fantastic at it, but my sister and I are quite terrible as it is our first time. We make a couple of new friends our grandmother agrees to let us visit them the next day so we can play some more. A bit later, we walk to a park full of boys playing an intense game of soccer in the dust. Their clothes are tattered and dirty, as they sprint about in the dust, trying to kick the ball and score so they can be cheered for. We walk around town a bit more, going past many landmarks and soon enough, after many complaints from my sister and me, we arrive at the house. We collapse on the front porch, panting as though we had ran a marathon as our grandparents laugh at us and playfully scold us. We go to our rooms for a quick nap and by the time we wake up it was 5:30pm. We had slept for nearly two and half hours and we were hungry. The sun has started setting, changing into a mixture of purple, orange and red, until it eventually disappears. We have dinner at 6:30pm, which consisted of boiled yam and egg stew. We go back outside after applying insect repellent and sit in a semi-circle, listening to our grandparents as they told us stories about their childhood and all the memories with their friends and family when they were younger. We stay up till 10pm and retire to our bedrooms sleepy and barely focusing. We snuggle into our blankets and sleep. Looking forward to what the rest of our stay in Doryumu has in store for us.