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I Have a Plane Ticket

Anne-Marie and Blessing head up BCU (Banku Crushers United). I was a provisional member until word got out that I don’t actually eat Banku. In the world of dense heavy starches, I prefer fufu. Thankfully, I was not banished entirely from the girls’ company. Anne-Marie and Blessing. Reliable checkers opponents and dedicated camel drawing students. One afternoon, after destroying miles of bubble wrap, we threw paper airplanes around the courtyard of the family compound. Several of these planes sailed over the eastern wall, into the open-air kitchen of the next-door chophouse. Someone probably ate the debris in their groundnut stew. One night, there was a neighborhood power outage, so we cranked up the cell phone speakers to volume 11 and danced to Nana Boroo.

I will be staying at the Yas Family Guesthouse in some small small weeks, returning after a year away. I wonder what it will feel like when I walk into that courtyard.

Ghana. Then Cote d’Ivoire. Then Mali. This is not really travel anymore. It’s a living situation. The supplemental pages in my passport are almost filled, most of them occupied by a repeating array of West African stamps and visas. When I quit my job to travel, I thought I would land on a few different continents. But sometimes you go somewhere and that place takes you somewhere else. I will always be an outsider in this part of the world, but friends, projects and collaborations make it somewhat familiar.

I do plan on visiting some unfamiliar lands, probably around spring, after the elections in Mali, when the Sahel turns into a true furnace (because of the season .. not the elections). A Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia trip will happen at some point. Some altogether different destinations are also a good possibility in 2012. “Free to move around” (on couches in the first world and apartments in the third) is my motto right now. Going to be somewhere/doing something interesting next year? Let me know about it. I just might come check it out.

More updates, plans and ideas to come..

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Jeremy Branham September 27, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Have fun on your trips to Ivory Coast, Mali, and Ghana!

    • phil September 27, 2011, 3:36 pm

      Thanks, Jeremy

  • jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World September 27, 2011, 12:06 pm

    We might just be tempted to forgo N. Africa and visit you in the west, Phil. Your obsession with this part of the world is quite infectious :)

    • phil September 27, 2011, 3:37 pm

      Why not do both? ANy luck with the flights/visa situation ??

  • Pete September 27, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Phil, I think it is incredible what you are doing. We love your blog, your stories, your camels :) and your adventures. We’re looking forward to what lies ahead for you and reading all about it.

    • phil September 27, 2011, 3:37 pm

      Thank you for the kind words, Pete. Glad to have you along for the ride.

  • Caanan @ No Vacation Required September 27, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Love this: “But sometimes you go somewhere and that place takes you somewhere else.”

    Looking forward to reading about your upcoming journey.

    • phil September 27, 2011, 3:37 pm

      Thanks, Caanan. Glad you enjoyed the piece!

  • Kay Johnson September 28, 2011, 4:29 am

    Green with envy, Phil. When u r in Ghana – are you going to visit the place where they make fancy wooden coffins to order ? 1) Slow down or you might need one & 2) Me too ! I’d like some more info. It would make a great change in Polopos where, at this time, everything is VERY gloomy/serious & dignified . . . . When u gotta go, u gotta go !

    • phil October 4, 2011, 8:33 am

      Haha, Kay, I was just looking at photos of designer coffins from Ghana the other day. I would love to see where they are made!

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures September 28, 2011, 2:51 pm

    Yay congrats on getting a plane ticket, I’m soooo excited for you!

    • phil October 4, 2011, 8:34 am

      Thanks, Andi

  • Ben Gubits October 3, 2011, 3:44 pm

    YEAH BUDDY!! Let me know what the plan is for DC before you leave. I’d love to send you off in style BRUDDA!!

    • phil October 4, 2011, 8:34 am

      check your email…

  • Kay Johnson October 4, 2011, 10:36 am

    Yeah – if you find ‘the coffin man’, I thinks he’s in Accra, see if you can get an estimated price from him for making & shipping to Granada, Southern Spain. There is no urgency in this matter ! But I’d like to know & may go there soon i.e. next year. Will be 70 on 16th. October so just preparing but ABSOLUTELY no rush !!!

  • Skott - Get Up and Globe October 10, 2011, 4:25 am

    We will see you there, inshallah.

    We saw camels (dromedaries, actually) on a street corner in Marrakesh two days ago…. Shawna said, “look we should take a picture of those for Phil!”

    She thinks about you more than she does me…..dammit!

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