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Coming Back Down to Earth

I’m still taking donations for Afia, Akosua, and Jennifer. Check out the original post here. To the people that already donated, enormous thanks. Expect a treat in your mailbox by the end of the week. The end of the week is also when I will stop taking money.

Stuck in the orbit of Newtown, treated to smiles from most everyone, I had forgotten what it was like to deal with unwarranted hostility. The fat headed woman behind the glass at the Ivorian embassy does not want me to visit her country. Yesterday, she demanded printed hotel reservations for the entire length of my stay.

This was my second trip to the embassy and I have yet to even begin the application. Nevermind that I don’t have hotel reservations and I don’t know the length of my stay, that I’m being hosted by someone and that all I want to do is visit your poor country and spend my money there, maybe recommend it to my friends after I leave.

No, this is really just a minor setback, an acceptable one in the mind boggling world of African bureaucracy. What was irritating about this instance was fat head’s neighbor behind the glass repeatedly telling me that printed hotel reservations aren’t necessary. Upon hearing this, fat head reprimanded her co-worker in French and coldly told me not to come back until I had reservations in hand. Fantasies of jumping through the glass and ringing her neck.

Aside from battling the Ivorian embassy, and recurring dreams of falling into an open sewer, life is good. Creating each day from scratch is a luxury I am very much enjoying. I have few routines. Playing checkers, watching football, taking walks, doing some music, reading, interacting with large numbers of children at once.

Children who know me:

“Fell! Fell! Fell! How are you?”
“I’m fine, how are you?”
“I am also fine. Fell, please, I’m coming, I’m going to the mawx to pray.”
“You’re going to the mosque?”
“Yes, I’m going to the mawx.”
“Oh ok. Pray for me.”
“Yes yes I will”

“I’m coming” is the Ghanaian way of saying “I’ll be right back.”

Children who don’t know me:

“Hi, hi, hi HI, HI!!!! hi, hi, hi HI HI, hi, hi” – like a nest of tweeting baby birds
OR “Obbbbrunnni. hi”

Ghanaian kids play with bubble wrap

Bubble wrap. Universally loved.

Yams in Ghana market

Yams. And feet. Taken from Maletta, one of Accra’s smaller, more manageable markets. You could bludgeon someone to death with a yam if you wanted to.

Watching the black stars vs. south africa

Many Ghanaians don’t have TVs. Many Ghanaians can’t afford bars where there are TVs. Instead, large crowds gather at roadside shops selling TVs. This was taken during a friendly between Ghana and South Africa. Ghana, fielding a young (younger than the world cup team even) and experimental side, lost 1-0.

playing checkers in Ghana

In Ghanaian checkers, kings move like bishops. You can also move backwards with a normal piece if you can jump your opponent. I am routinely defeated.

cat in ghana

The only checkers opponent I can reliably beat.

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