Running with Ghanaians

17 October 2012
That really is an understatement. It rather should be, Running After Ghanaians. It has been a frivolous five weeks since I departed the U.S. Five weeks of living in 29-32ish deg. Celsius weather. Hundreds of kilometres traveled via bus, tro-tro, taxi, and on foot. Last night while playing football, A man presumably from the village came up and hugged me. Is the concept of a female obruni playing football with Ghanians that rare of a site? Even when I hit the man in the back (not the hugging man) while taking a PK, he smiled and laughed. I sincerely apologise to all the people and children I have hit with the football (especially the one I hit in the face-). Runnign in the dark on a road with so many dips and divets, that it took me four tries of jogging, to not trip (over the same spot of course). Though when someone yells out “Run Obruni Run”, nothing in the world matters most than beating my younger sister to the pole. Of course without my excellence to cheat, she won every single race. Without a furrow of worry.

  • I admire the canteen ladies’ spirits and enthusiasm. The fact that they labour and sweat every single day, rain or shine. Especially when they try to get us to understand Twi and crack jokes when we give them that confused look. I am going to sit in the Kg1 (kindergarten 1) class and learn

I have been asked whether I am a boy or girl and just recently thought of a good response, “As long as we are not going to bed together, then why does it matter?

 

Update: 23 October 2012

Kate helped me out of a few situations on Sunday (morning). Not only walking me to my room but telling the fellow, “Charlie is going to sleep alone tonight… She said no at least fifteen times.” The sunrise on the 21st of October was beautiful – especially over the Atlantic Ocean’s horizon.

The language barrier here does not bother me. Just as long as I can act out everything and laugh at the fact that no one understands one another. All is well. Especially when they realise that I am trying to learn the language and not the other way around (like most people expect).

Update: 24 October 2012

If I knew the actual history behind Ghana, I feel like I could say this very differently but with what I have now: I have came down to the honest conclusion that I might become depressed when I return to the states in February. For reasons being, I think majority of all Americans are lazy, ignorant fools who loath money and materialistic goods.

That was harsh. My apologies (not). Majorily I forgot to add that on our way down to Cape, maybe four weeks or so ago, we passed anaccident in which a truck or other vehicle was sideways in the trees – and the front end of another tro-tro was smashed. It was more of a shock with the conditions of the road and how fast and “careless” they drive. Though “careless” should not be the right word – they speed especially with the conditions of the road yet can maintain the vehicle over all the swerving and potholes.

I have a new found respect for my brother Silvester who not only shows a huge amount of respect towards us but is awfully nice and welcoming. I wish he was not a form 3 student along with Michael and the others.

Update: 26 October 2012

We are going to be taught Twi by Miss Constance, the Kg (kindergarten) 2 teacher. In return, I am giving her some candies. Plus I went trudging through knee deep muddy water and gave Paul, a BS5 student, a piggy back ride because he hadĀ caterpillarĀ spikes in his foot.

 

Thoughts on leaving

It is more complicated than what I just write on here. I am staying for numerous reasons. A few because of the people I have met and others because of the experience / adventure factor. I am going to stay until the passport gets the extended visa and go from there. Which will be around November to December. Of course since I have made it to mid-November and into December then why do I not stay the entire time? I have great friends and connections down in Cape Coast with the locals and plenty of relationships with the other volunteers and I hate the term volunteers while referring to them.
I will post more when I write it all down and put some thought into it.

Extremely late update

I have become fond of the six o’clock roosters, mutated duck chickens, and the many spiders, lizards, and unknown amount of milimeter sized ants that inhabit and share our living space. I have (successfully) played football in a skirt and pet a cute little chick – without the consent of the mother. I have traveled in a non-regulated boat across the Atlantic Ocean with three of the finest people. I have shared stories while drunk on the beach and swam in the dark (The ocean herself has been a never ending adventure. We, Jack, and I, must have been nice to her prior to Friday evening because she could have easily swept us out but did not.) There are some things I understand in life but the ocean, not her.) i have learned to take quick bucket showers and ave been without power for the last three days (that changed last night).

I don’t know how to fully describe everything that I have been through in a month. Most houses being brick slabs with tin roofs. The school, rather B.S. (Basic School) classrooms are just wood planks for walls and tin roofs. The weather is indecisive. Some days hot yet others rainy and loud. Saw a rainbow a day ago, always a beautiful sight and first one in Ghana.

The first day upon arrival was definitely a shocker. Put 20 of us, ranged from 17 to 23 and from completely different backgrounds into a single house. That would make a good ‘Big Brother’ episode. Even though I have never seen ‘Big Brother’ or the likewise. The heat can really wake you up, especially the instant we got off the plane – on the tarmac. Of course, long pants and a long shirt do no good. One lady asking hundreds of incoming foreigners to display their yellow cards (Yellow Fever) for her to check over. I would say more but Wasaaba! Welcome to Ghana.

The first week was full of adjustments and readjustments, meeting the household and forming new relationships. Bucket washing clothes and hanging them on the upstairs deck railing thing. Dance lessons in the market place. Whomever has the video of me dancing, I would like to see it!

I still cannot fathom this ‘God’ culture but like always, Cada Loco Con Su Tema. To each his own.

Back to the important stuff, I am unaware of the population of Twifo Mampon but I can find it on my map of Ghana so the population must be large enough. The main export is Palm Fruit (though I will not miss the smell). The palm fruit is mixed and mashed into palm oil and other items that are exported to neighbouring countries.

The school is run by our host, Mr. Nakumah (pronunciation is better than spelling in this case). Now at first I was awstruck at the condition of this school but then I learned that it was a private school, the funding for the buildings were raised by the first volunteers who arrived five years ago. Most of the children are unable to afford textbooks and even so, the textbooks are laughable. The first week of class was just pure boredom and really made me want to leave. Chaos of just sitting in the back of the classroom for the entire day. Even through the third week, we still have no timetable and teach as we go. Which means we don’t know where we are supposed to be. To say that I go through the week awaiting the weekend makes me mad. I am just planning on creating a class for all those who cannot afford to go to school.

No mother had the dreams that her daughter is going to grow up and be a junkie

Food: I dislike yams with a burning passion. Rice is okay and fried eggs on fluffy bread beats it all. Banku and Kanku are not the greatest but oh well. (I ate noodles at lunch with my hands today – and I asked for permission!). There are plenty of little things i have not written – my internet time is running low and a lot of it is teenage rated. Maybe i will post it all when I get back home. I also do not plan to spend all of my time in Ghana on the computer.
I am still amazed that the ocean did not take us away Friday. Two lucky son of a bitches. I will add more next week or whenever I can think of anything else.

I am enjoying being an abomination here! Plus, my tan is orangish-brown.

You know i could use somebody

My playlist is getting old.

Aut Viam Invenium Aut Faciam – I will either find my way or make one.

P.S. The cocoa drink is always the finest – unless they add too much cocoa. Then it is just nothing. I am not religious but I hold true to:

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall not fear a thing.