8-3-10 @ 11:17a
I’m looking forward to the memories of right now…
We have not had internet for the past 5 days at the house, forgive me if you’ve emailed and have not received a reply. Departure creeps up slowly. Most of the students are beyond ready to go with their bags fully packed while others have reached a neutral place and have mixed emotions about leaving. I could easily spend more time here but miss people at home tremendously. And of course, I miss my closet. J The male students have decided they will give clothes and shoes to the young boys that we watch playing futbol on the corner. I’m sure they will be extremely grateful; it would be difficult to play futbol with flip-flops.
The group went back to the Arts Centre on Saturday for last minute shopping. Once you can figure out how to get past every shop owner grabbing your hand and asking you to have a look, you can get some nice things for nice prices. I promised one shop owner, Moses, I would return and find him when we were at the Arts Centre during week two. After finding him on Saturday and purchasing some paintings from him, he walked with me and bargained with other shop owners. He drove the prices lower and lower until the owners would say with a smile, “he’s going to run us out of business.” But most of the owners at this location do extremely well for Ghanaian standards. Many of them wear nice clothes, designer jeans and shirts. He was thrilled to help out. Moses insisted on giving me free things for my mother, father, siblings, and myself. I told him I’d prefer that he sell them and make a profit but he would not give in. Another man said he likes me because I am nice and I am just like an African, and then offered me his sister for marriage.
We spent much of Saturday without power at the house, just a quick reminder that we are still in a developing country even though we are enclosed and often removed from the reality beyond the walls of our compound.
I saw Inception on Sunday. New movies cost more here than they do in the US. The movie was interesting with a Matrix feel and I definitely need to see it again for a better understanding. But as always I was analytical and perturbed by a few parts in the movie. I’m always annoyed when men’s suit ties are tied differently after a simple panning of the camera. But I was particularly irritated when they supposedly went to Mombasa and had a bar full of Muslims drinking alcohol. It seemed as though the entire country was Muslim, even though it is majority Christian. Furthermore, the steering wheel of the car they drove in was on the left side. It is possible to have a car with the steering wheel on the left but not likely. Sorry, it’s hard to turn it off sometimes.
I continue to spend time outside with Elijah and Timothy. Uncle Solo’s last day with us was on Sunday. He has a private contract with a group traveling to Kumasi. He asked me to send his high school age daughter a laptop if I happened to have an extra one. I wish it were that simple. After reading the majority of Three Cups of Tea (I know it’s taking me forever) I’ve begun to think about the small impacts I can begin to have around the world. While Greg Mortenson has built upwards of 30 schools in Pakistan, I wonder if providing school children with laptops is a possibility? Where are the old computers from the large corporations going? The optimistic side of me says they are going to children somewhere in the world. The other night Elijah gave a long lecture on the political dynamics of the country. Being that he is from the north he desires support for the poorest region of the country. Presidential candidates make promises to develop the north but never deliver. And since the north is about half of the country, every vice presidential candidate is from the north, for voting power. He told me to be the next Obama, and said he will celebrate in the streets after the election. I could not say much, aside from “thank you” and attempt to express the type of man Obama is. He has traits that I can only imagine having at this point in my life.
I have made many contacts and the prospect of research in the next few years seems to be a bright one. We’ll see how pre-dissertation research goes and plan when the time comes, I suppose. I’m beyond scared of the thought that I start a PhD program in just over a month. I usually let things happen and don’t process them, but this one is serious!
We visited the “Diaspora African Forum Mission” yesterday. It is located in the back of the DuBois Centre (if you ever come) and has a mission of helping Africans from the Diaspora transition back into African continents. They are making an effort to make Diasporans more aware of the mission, so this is my contribution.
Mommy, I know you want me to shave before I come but… I am keeping the beard. I’ve been referred to as Osama 4 times in the past two days. I’m sure I will have another customs story to add to the others.
Blaze, golf ASAP!
Did I ever mention that I ran into someone from UMN at the mall here? Random, right? She came here for PeaceCore in 2007 and has been here since. We hung out with a group of people on Friday. It was nice. I love going to the clubs here. Ghanaian women have this simple two-step with swagger that you can’t imagine. Ghanaian men dance together with no worries in the world. Everyone is out to have fun. Then there are the Lebanese clubs and bars too. Lebanese folk are not quite as friendly and happy. I was getting down to some techno this weekend. And Funky House… Let’s get it! Shout out to my British friend for putting me on… I will miss Sonny a whole lot. The people in this country are amazing!
Well, this is clearly turning into a free writing session. Allow me to close here. Sorry there are no pictures.
Until the next time I see you, on the other side!
Signing off… The life and times of amo…