Thursday, May 30, 2013

I've Moved...Kind of

I just wanted to inform any reader who happens upon this page, I am much more active on updating my tumblr. While I have been pretty abysmal about updating this blog, I pretty regularly (comparatively) update my tumblr account about my adventures in Ghana.

If you want to hear more or see more about my journey through Ghana, you should definitely check out my tumblr:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Blessed Day: March 8th, 2013

3.8.13 (or 8.3.13 as Ghanaians write it)
This morning I woke up in a funk. I felt like I was one of those cartoon characters walking around with a thunderstorm cloud over my head. It was one of those days. I wafted through this morning in a haze of badly hidden misery, sweeping, bathing, making my bed up to my host mom’s anal eye’s acceptance, eating a breakfast of porridge, and washing my clothes. After wasting my morning away waiting for plans to come, nothing evolved to a conclusive being. Yet, instead of moping like I am sadly renowned for, I decided to do something about it.

I spent the first month of my time in Ghana utterly freighted of even stepping outside of my gated house. Unable to stand the constant scrutiny of being white in a fringe town of a city in West Africa, I hid myself away.

I am sick of that part of me. The part of me that wallows, hides away from the world. It is a waste of my time and I was in the mood to go. With the song “I Gotta Go” by Robert Earl Keen coursing through my veins, I left my house. Having no idea where I was headed, I marched myself to the tro-tro station. I allowed myself little time for deliberation, for it didn’t matter where I went, I just had to go SOMEWHERE and do SOMETHING.  I ended up playing it safe, taking a Stadium-Junction car. It is the same car I take to school every day but I had never been to the last stop. I always got off at either Unity Oil or Stadium, depending on if I was going straight to school or to training first. Once I alighted from the tro-tro, I ventured off planning to get wonderfully lost, taking in the beauty of Ghana by exploring. In the mood to talk and get out of my head, when a group of people called me over, I decided to come to their beckoning hands and chorus of “Bra” (come).

Deciding to come was a wonderful decision on my part. After the usual pleasantries that come from talking to curious strangers, one of the ladies turned to me informing me that her sister was deaf and inquiring if I could communicate with her. Growing up with a mother who is a Teacher of the Deaf, I know some sign language-not as much as I would like but still, I was overjoyed to use it. The joy on her face when she realized I could speak to her most definitely brought sun beams piercing through my foul mooded cloud. Her exuberance and normalcy in a society not exactly handicap accommodating or accepting dispelled any bad feelings I held onto. After our talk, I walked away thanking God for sending me such a beautiful moment. It is times like this that make me fall even more in love with Ghana and the world in general.
Afi, the Deaf Ghanaian I met that day

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tro-Tros Explained (Ghanaian Public Transport)

Sofaline Station At Sunset   
Tro-tros are cheap, super convenient, full of ample people watching, and just wonderful. They are one of my favorite things in Ghana.

As I trundle down pothole filled streets in a metal box on wheels, I am often brought back to a conversation I had sitting in Mr. Dyer’s 7th grade history class. Ignoring his incessant off topic chatter, deep in conversation with Rachel & Grace about their deep love and desire to own a vehicle on the verge of collapse; putting out its last exhaust filled breaths, riddled with rusts holes creating a metal canvas reminiscent of an acne scarred face.

Here, I quite often ride in these vehicles. At first, I was mildly wary of these vans called tro-tros which with no doubt would never pass any American road-safety inspection. Yet, as many Obrunis before me, I have quickly grown to love them. Love the packed cars, filled with opportune venues of people watching and window gazing-I always try to grab the window seat to avoid the feeling of being in a moving sauna. The windows ebb the stifling hear of people packed like sardines in a trundle bus in the sweltering African heat.

Tro-tros are an ingenious way of getting around and are the main form of transport of many Ghanaians. Here having a personal car is a sign of great wealth, and they really are since these tros provide transportation all over the city. These privately owned vans, sent over here from countries such as Korean & Germany (you can usually tell where they came from due to tell tale writings in its first countries language) once they couldn’t pass inspection there.

(I wrote this back in October but never posted it. Yeah, being a great blogger is definitely not one of my credentials.)