Our technical abilities in the sound editing arena are improving greatly. It was dueling GarageBands down in Studio B. Amber found great clips on YouTube of actual Ghanaian voices singing the Ghana National Anthem and reciting their national pledge for us to use. We also expanded our repertoire by creating new sound effects like a head hitting a pillow, crab claws (plastic chop sticks work best), and her math teacher jumping up and down yelling for chalk. But you can give thanks to a relatively unbiased listener who let us know that, though our sound effects were great, there were too many and they were distracting from the story. So we chose to be brutal and give up a bunch of them.
* a head hitting the pillow [It took us 5 different pillows and several attempts before we had something that worked- smashing a feather pillow. Listen close at the very end of the day. ]
* the horrifying bleating goats [Yes they really do sound like that. Those are actual clips taken from YouTube.),
* and the men lined up at the public toilet. [Amber pieced that one together from several different sources.]
“Obruni Ko Skuul”, follows a typical day in the life including routines that offer a sense of pride and comfort as well as those that raise questions about personal morality in the face of cultural expectations, with an inside look at the experience of attending school.
“There are twenty-six girls in my class, all black with hair cut within half an inch of their heads. Though it’s been two months, I’m still their Barbie doll… We are the Form 2 Visual Arts girls, with a notorious reputation for garrulousness.”
“Stumbling first into my house sandals and then into the kitchen, I retrieve the straw hand-held broom and head for the living room. Then, like every morning, I bend over and sweep the floors in all the rooms of the house and the outside steps.”
“The eldest sister, Ama, is a seamstress with wild crazy hair that stands straight up from her head in the mornings.”
“My youngest sister, Abena, is a vivacious two years and is generally walking around screaming for my nineteen-year old sister, Maameaba, to come and bathe her.”
“My younger sister, Boatema, has left boiled oats on the stove and is probably out buying a loaf of fresh bread…. My mother seems to spend most of the morning yelling at Boatema to hurry up.”
“At a quarter to 7:00 I walk down the road to meet my friend Anita and we head off for school. We walk a good 10 minutes to the nearest junction… Children are playing in the street and a long parade of men has lined up outside of the public toilets.”
“People are everywhere. Women are selling cocoo, ballfruit, and fried plantain.”
“We must look like stalks of corn in neat even rows with our golden colored skirts and cream cotton blouses. ”
“The fufuu is made by boiling cassava root and plantain. These are laboriously pounded with a large stick and mortar until they form a dough-like substance.”
Maameaba (my new sister) in the kitchen
“I prefer kinke, a sharp tasting paste-like ball wrapped in banana leaves. Ghanaians tend to alternate between a few main dishes. Most of these consist of a carbohydrate, such as cassava or yam, eaten with a variety of tomato-based stews.”
“Anita and I gossip about the day or often discuss politics.”
“If there are dishes in the kitchen, I wash them before settling on the verandah for a quiet moment to watch the sellers pass by with buckets balanced on their heads.”
“My mother and I share a special tradition of watching the news at 7:00. We’re the only family members that never miss a night. My mother likes to talk at the TV and the laughter is continuous.”
I would like to clarify that although I did help with cooking some meals, I was very poor at assisting with fufu pounding and my family generally did not have me help too often with that particular dish. Usually when I was helping to cook, they made me grind together the onions, tomatoes, and hot pepper with a large mortar and pestle.