Passing the Torch

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

“It is your turn” were the four words that I, at age 12, feared would be uttered from my mother’s lips. I knew that is was only a matter of time until my mother would send me off to the Dome Market, my local market in Ghana, to purchase the “foodstuffs” that were needed for our household. It was only a matter of time before I would enter womanhood.

I paced back and forth on the vast area of land where the market would be held on Sunday to prepare myself for my “test.” The terrain seemed endless when vacated of the thousands of merchants who carried metal basins filled with goods on their heads to their tables, where they loudly bargained and bartered with the townspeople. I looked down at the ground and found thousands of different shoe imprints, all left from the thousands of people who had gathered here last weekend, but luckily I had memorized my mother’s steps from years of following her through the market every Sunday.

I paid close attention to the way she always inspected the “foodstuffs” at each table before proceeding the bargain with the vendor to get a better deal. It was enthralling to watch my mother never go over budget each week and sometimes return home with more money than she had the previous week. In Ghanaian...

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