Family Kumasi


20130114BobAmyCamAnticipation was palpable in the crowd of Ghanaians awaiting two flights from America at the Accra airport on January 12. Bob and I were in harmony with the others and yet isolated, each heart beating with a different face in mind. We shifted from leg to leg, leaning against the railing and then standing straight again. Young children played contentedly on the gleaming cool floor. Mr. Fred waited outside by his taxi. When passengers began dribbling into view, I found myself bending down to peer beneath the partition for a better look.

Soon enough, Amy’s smile appeared, bright and travel weary, like sunshine bursting through a cloudy sky. And then we were three. Three Armantrouts in Ghana, here to taste the flavor of Bob’s childhood in Accra, to get a feel for the elements that helped shape who he is. With this first smile, my dream had become real.

On the last day or March 2012, I formally voiced my desire to connect with the African phase of Bob’s childhood with a comment on my sister-in-law, Kathryn’s blog post Bucket List. “Spend a couple of months in Ghana with Bob and the kids” I wrote and amazingly, within a month, Bob had applied for the position that would bring us here. And now Amy has come to share the experience.

Amy brought many gifts, including herbs and tinctures she made her own self. She has been studying Herbal Healing with Juliet Blankenspoor at the Chestnut School of Medicine in Asheville and has plans to explore African herbs and remedies. A portion of Amy’s apothecary now sits on a shelf in the kitchen and has already found good use treating us for congestion and bladder distress. She also brought the coveted nutritional yeast, main ingredient for Kentucky Fried Tofu; books, electronics and toiletries not to be found here.

The third Trout dove right into the routine of shopping at markets, preparing food the slow way, starting with fresh vegetables and dried beans and helping in the garden. Last week, Amy harvested the beets that Bob and Jeremy raised from seed. Yesterday, she made curtains for her bedroom windows. Today, she begins her own blog. Tomorrow, who knows?


By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.