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I had been volunteering during my stay, and all of us were doing the same homestay.

One morning, another volunteer who knew Isaac turned to me and said, “So has Isaac mentioned his new charity to you? “In fact, I’m avoiding him.” “Well, he’s holding a benefit dinner for this new charity he supposedly started, and asked me donate money. He was telling me yesterday how he wants to take you to a nice restaurant and buy you a gift, but I know he’s broke. I began to ask around, even asking Isaac’s parents who were well-known in the community if they knew about a charity he was starting. When I confronted Isaac about how I didn’t appreciate him making up a fake charity and asking my friends for money, it became apparent my intuition was correct.

Their demeanor suggests they’re on a first or second date, with slightly stiff body language and plastered-on smiles, but an easy banter going between them.

I also hear him ask her if she has siblings, which suggests they don’t know each other well.

It made perfect sense, and gave me a different outlook on the “annoying marriage proposals” I had been receiving during my trip. I encountered one incident during my trip that was troubling.

There was a 21-year-old man named Isaac I befriended who played on the local soccer team where I was doing a homestay, and I would get up early and run with him in the morning.

While Ghana is a beautiful country with a mountain- and waterfall-filled landscape, upbeat music adding positivity to the streets, and gorgeous handmade textiles in bold patterns, there is also a lot of government corruption and poverty.

Not only would marrying a westerner give a local the opportunity to become more financially stable, but also the ability to pursue career talents not possible in Ghana.

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Sometimes, the man will also send gifts to the bride’s family to show them his potential as a son-in-law.

I can’t help thinking to myself that, unlike American men (and women) who propose maybe one to three times in their lives, Ghanaians must propose dozens.

According to Michael, it’s essentially based on what each can bring to the union.

After about a week or two in which the bride’s family researches the potential groom, the father will send his reply.

From there, the groom’s parents will send the bride’s parents a pot of palm wine to thank them if there has been consent. If a man wants to marry a woman, he’ll start giving her gifts — for instance, money, handkerchiefs and towels.

Again, these traditions still occur, but less so as Ghana becomes more modernized — especially in the capital of Accra.

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