Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Advice for people moving to Tamale

My Canadian coworker, Lindsay, says that people are silly because they bring suitcases full of clothes to Tamale instead of food.  Here, it’s easy to buy clothes or even have them made for you, but most foods aren’t available.  If I was to repack my suitcase, these are things I’d consider.

Things I wish I’d brought from home:

  • Jars of roasted red peppers
  • Veggie chips
  • Kale chips
  • Quinoa
  • Packets of instant veggie soup
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Chunky natural peanut butter
  • Protein powder
  • Dried salmon jerky
  • Vanilla extract

(Sooooooo Kitsilano!)

Things other expats have which are amazing:

  • Pesto
  • Kraft Dinner
  • Spices
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh pepper in a grinder
  • Dried blueberries
  • Good quality earl grey tea
  • Trail mix
  • Mini chocolate bars

Things that are available here:

  • Groundnut butter, which is similar to peanut butter but not quite the same
  • Cheese (although it’s expensive)
  • Milk and soymilk
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned mushrooms
  • Sometimes chocolate bars, although not always. So far I’ve seen Mars Bars, Twix, Snickers, Peanut M&Ms, KitKats, Smarties, and Bounties.  The M&Ms were only here for a few days because I bought most of them.
  • Mayonnaise and ketchup
  • White vinegar
  • Carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplants, onions, garlic, ginger, cucumbers, lettuce, pineapples, apples, papaya, avocados (seasonal), mangos (seasonal), coconuts, bananas
  • Pizza

The top 5 foods that I miss from home:

  • Spanikopitas (or anything else full of spinach)
  • Sushi
  • Nanaimo bars
  • Vegetarian fajitas from Las Margaritas on W. 4th Ave
  • Good quality ice cream
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2 thoughts on “Advice for people moving to Tamale

  1. mandyrox2 on said:

    You should make a friend in Accra who can hook you up when you have a craving… Some of those things can definitely be bought here! But I totally understand missing food from home, I have my own list of things I can’t buy here too! Think about how much happiness you’ll have the first time you have it after you’re back. 🙂

    P.S. You should check out Magictime brand macaroni… its not exactly the same as KD, but it’s pretty close and they sell it at Melcom.

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