Things I love: SHOWERS. WATER. BEDS. SHOWERS. THE INTERNET. THE INTERNET. THE IIIIINTERNET!!
Anyway, just got back from the village today. It was a really great experience and I was sad to leave the kids and all the people behind. It was definitely challenging to not really be able to have conversations beyond the surface level with very many people since so few people spoke English we speak such (SUCH) marginal Twi, but it was cool to be able to bond with people anyways and see how kind they were to us and how excited they were to see us every day.
A big part of the village (obviously if you’ve read anything else I wrote on it) was getting used to not having organized activities. I had some trouble with the insane amount of free time but at the same time I really liked not being pressured to do anything. Sometimes you just really need to relax and do your own thing.. I’m becoming a firm believer in that people should just do what they need to do in order to get through the day and it was nice to have time to do the things that keep me calm like reading or watching old episodes of House. I feel very well rested now and have gotten on a much better sleep schedule! I even can get up really early in the morning now without crying about it.
I’m trying to remember some specific things I did the last week in the village. Did more work on my animal ISP, so I observed a goat slaughter and helped cut up the pieces for our meat. That was um gross. Like really gross. Guts everywhere. I accidentally sliced the intestine and gross shit came out. Sorry world. Clearly being a farmer is not in my future. I learned a lot of interesting things about the animal farming here in Ghana. It’s based so much more off subsistence than in America, and everything is on a much smaller scale which is just healthier and better in many ways. Obviously it has its drawbacks but it was great to see everything progressing instead of like factory life. Sorry these sentences don’t really make sense. We went to the school a few mornings and observed classes. It’s interesting to see how the education compares to America. Obviously things aren’t as fancy but the teachers work so hard and really try to do well at their jobs. The teachers at the school in our village haven’t been paid even though they’ve been working for A YEAR, but they still stay there and do it. The community gives them places to live and feeds them. The teachers pay is the governments responsibility but nothing really goes as planned. It’s so amazing to me that they keep working even though they have no idea when they will get money.
I’m having big trouble remembering ANYTHING specific I did in the village right now. I think it’s a combination of dehydration and exhaustion. I know I said I was well rested…but that’s like relatively speaking. I’m also always tired. I really need some water but I don’t know where any water is. Welcome to Africa struggles haha. Hmmm I have no idea what happened on Monday. On Tuesday in the morning I went on a walk in the bush with two of the girls on my program and we ended up getting taken on this orange farming expedition with this super nice farmer who showed us all his land and then climbed a tree and gave us TONS of oranges. He also showed us the best way to peel/eat an orange which is to cut off the outer skin but then leave the white layer and bite it from the top which has been cut off and suck out all the juice. IDK I’ll post pictures. I THIIIINK that Monday we carried cement to help on a village project (if by help you mean did work slower than anyone who is doing it and almost spilling cement) and then went and observed at the school. We also did a question and answer session during the ‘morality’ class but I just watched because I can’t do the American bestowing knowledge on the African children thing. I just feel weird, I mean it’s probably unnecessary feeling weird but if other people like doing it they should do it because they probably don’t feel weird about it. or something. Slash even though some of the questions the kids asked WERE funny I still feel weird laughing about it afterwards. Plus they were talking about atheism since this is not a concept in Africa and they were trying to explain differences (or something…I was busy copying animal notes out of a Junior High science book to pay too much attention) and even though I obviously would have been an authority on this topic I was just like man I can’t do this without being myself. Like I believe in my views but I don’t want to say anything that would express my inherent skepticism in religion. Like I just feel like I can’t really be objective. Or something. So I just observed and took my cow breed notes.
Wednesday we went to the market. This was quite an adventure. Wanna know what nobody ever thinks it does in Africa? Rains. Wanna know what it does ALL THE TIME in Africa? RAINS. It poured like almost every day in the village and market day was no exception. So we got to help the people selling things cover their wares and then hide under an awning. Markets are always overwhelming but very interesting here. On the way home we saw PROBABLY the weirdest thing in the world. We were riding a tro tro and at this one stop the door opened and a baby got off. We thought the lady whose lap it was sitting on would follow it. but no. just the baby, got off the tro tro, with its little bag of goods, and walked off. A baby. Couldn’t have been more than three years old. ALONE. We have been unable to figure this out. We talk about it ALL THE TIME. The look on our faces when A BABY just WALKED ITSELF OFF THE TRO TRO FROM A HUGE ASS MARKET..nobody knows. We asked one of our leaders about it and her response was “well…she was probably sent to the market to pick up a few things” THE BABY WAS LEGIT THREE YEARS OLD. I asked our other leader and he said “Sometimes they look like babies but they are older.” NO, IT WAS THREE. Nobody knows.
I don’t know other stuff happened in the village but who can remember. Even though the kids were obnoxious and the worst when we just wanted to be alone or eat meals, I am going to miss them. My FAAAAVORITE, Foster, or ‘Faustaa’ as you say it, especially. Just the greatest child. In general it was just a very relaxing friendly setting and there wasn’t too much to worry about. I’ll miss the bar, the people, the wandering animals. My one regret is that I didn’t have more one on one conversations with the people, but it is just really hard when most of the people don’t speak English and you don’t really know who the ones that do are. We had this lecture from our AD on one of the last days on how we had been complaining that our leaders would tell us we were going to have interviews but then just not show up and he said that ‘we should have been going off and finding people and getting our own interviews’ and I was just like hmm well Yemi YOU NEVER TOLD US HOW TO DO THAT. We never were told a. that that was socially acceptable, since 90% of the time you tell us that everything is NOT socially acceptable, B. we odn’t know who speaks English, C. you don’t just GO into someone’s house…okay nevermind no rant. But really it’s either ‘OH YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING THAT’S NOT CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE’ or they’re like DO MORE!! GO ASK THE CHIEF TO BE YOUR TRANSLATOR! Whatever whatever happened happened.
Now I have finally been on the internet. I have missed it so. We go to Tamale tomorrow (HAHAHAHAHA) which is nerve wracking because it is going to be really hot because it is the north but also we have to dress conservatively because it is mostly Muslim. So I will be dying of heatstroke. They claim that we will be doing art workshops there. I hope this is the truth. I miss doing art. There was no art to be spoken of in the village which was sad but understandable. I’m sure I have more things I could say but I am sleepy. And I just really want water.