(Writeup by Leah)
On Saturday we stayed in Kumasi to explore the famous or infamous Kejetia Market, which is described in our guide book as the largest open market in Western Africa. You truly have to be there to get the full experience which includes the smells, narrow stalls, countless number of people, heat, humidity, and puddles. Photos cannot fully describe our experience in the market, nor can words, but I will try. As you enter down the steps into the market you are swept up into a stream of people that includes women with large bags or baskets on their heads, children, and men pushing large carts. You are unable to stop for very long as you must keep moving with the traffic, this becomes more of an obstacle when some men try to push a large cart down the narrowest of walkways. The flow of people takes you deeper into a maze of stalls where people are selling anything you could ever need from flip flops to gas ranges to food. As you walk by the food, including smoked fish and raw meat, you are overtaken with a smell that is indescribable. Finally the crowd leads you out of the market and you are able to look down it from above. All of your senses were overstimulated in the market and it is an experience you will not forget.
We never managed to find our way to the craft section of the market which I am sure would have been more appealing to me then a washer or overly cooked meat that looked and smelled a bit like roadkill. The market was just too crowded for my tastes and I much preferred to view it from above. Our only purchase was a coffee mug for Mike. While I am not sure if I want to go back it was an experience that I would not have wanted to miss while here in Kumasi. Mike is thinking about taking the plunge again as he loved the opportunities for photos within the market. – Leah