Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ghana, No.9

Back yard view in Esiama
The drive from Tadi to Esiama
Feb. 15, 2011

Happy to be leaving Tadi, I was looking forward to the hour plus drive. Takoradi is the "last stop of civilization" so-to-say when heading West from Accra. All communities after Takoradi are villages, and the farther west you go the more into the bush you go, where indigenous tribes and languages are the lay of the land. I was also delighted to see the sky change with the landscape- the clouds became bustling and low to the horizon. They have an all encompassing reign over the horizon, it is spectacular to witness.

The road was well paved and we passed seldom cars, I later learned that the road is the main "highway" between the Ivory Coast and Ghana. The land became a series of rolling hills covered with lush African foliage. Some was trimmed and groomed, other bits were in the burning process. Passing rubber plantations with small groups of workers, cattle crossing signs every 5km or so, I was mentally comparing the African bush to Nantucket: cattle crossing rather than duck crossings; plantation workers loiter about rather than DPW workers; tall palm trees with coconuts in place of short salt pines with pinecones.

A baby lizard on the back door.

Arriving in Esiama, I was taken to the local church and Word Alive offices to meet Dr. Peace (perfect name, right? He should be a humanity saving comic hero with a name like that), the director in Esiama and my contact here on the ground. This quick meeting was followed by a quick trip to the orphanage and school to drop off supplies. I was then brought to the house I am staying at for the next 12 days while working in Esiama. I was dropped and told to relax- they would be back later. It was a little before or a little after 1pm.

Alone in the house, the homesick set in. Five days of waiting to get somewhere, to do something, to be productive. If idle I want to be idle at home, resting in my own bed, watching a period piece on Netflix with Koda in arms, and a beverage with ice cubes in hand. This was tough, and the majority of the afternoon was spent on the phone with friends and family while fighting back tears, weeping, or balling my eyes out.

Charles and Dr. Peace returned around 5pm, by this time I had unpacked my bag, done a small wash in the bathroom sink, watched a few hours of daytime African TV (much more ridiculous than Jerry Springer, but a wonderful cultural experience no doubt), and had passed about 45 minutes staring at the ceiling fan wondering if I had made a HUGE mistake: alone in the third-world, alone in sub-Saharan third-world Ghana... Yikes. Charles and Dr. Peace said that tomorrow I would finally go to the school for introductions and program scheduling. They left shortly after and I found myself alone again. It was a tough night.

© Habit & Style, 2013.

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