Okay, so, I had a really long blog entry in my word but then my computer froze and I had to shut it down and instead of doing auto recover like word is SUPPOSED to do, it just disappeared. Even my American electronics don’t work in Africa. Ugh. Well it’s been quite a last few days. Except then I did nothing yesterday and today. But before that I was keeping myself busy. I’ll tell all about it. I’m in the ISP period now. It is challenging because my AD Yemi told me that working with Kofi, he’d have me doing a ton of stuff and keeping really busy, and well, that was just the biggest lie anyone has ever told me. I’m basically completely self sufficient i.e. having to find all my own things to do and setting up everything for myself without any help or guidance, which I guess is good for me, but it’s also really stressful. I wouldn’t mind so much if I had known this was coming, but to go from someone telling you that the person you’re working with will be taking you places and planning your life for you and then reality being that you talk to them, they’re like that looks like a good plan, and then send you off…not exactly the same thing.
But no, I’m actually really happy during the ISP when I tell myself not to be stressed because even if my ISP sucks…it doesn’t really matter, I’ll be back in America in five weeks regardless. Even if I completely fuck it up, they can’t stop me from coming home! Wait wouldn’t that be awful? Okay we’re not even thinking about that.
Anyway so on Sunday I met with Kofi for the first time. At this point I still thought that he was going to be a helpful person that I would see and he would give me activities. This meeting actually fostered this notion. We met at his house (the Arthaus, which I now learn is basically just his house and he works other places…hey remember when my ISP was just supposed to be there? And that is not a thing? Oh, Africa, the curve balls you throw me) and we talked for a while and got my project planned out which is basically the life of an artist in Ghana. Slash studying art in Ghana. It sounds stupid, I don’t know. I just want to do shit and see shit and meet people and study and be happy, which has worked out well except for the planning part. But I’ll work on it today. He gave me some books that I can go back and look at later which he IS IN (It’s so weird that my advisor is actually someone who is in books. Like he’s relatively famous. Wow!) and suggested some artists for me to talk to, he said he was going to give me their contact information. In classic form this has not happened. If anyone is keeping track that was six days ago that he said he would give it to me. Ah, artists.
That day I went on to take a nap and then did something else. I don’t really remember, time doesn’t make sense here.
OH BUT SPEAKING OF TIME AND TIME NOT MAKING SENSE I HAVE THE BEST FUCKING NEWS EVER
I was sitting in the SIT office, sitting on a couch. Across from me, I saw this cabinet with clear glass doors and a bunch of books in it. I was idly glancing at the books, thinking maybe a book I like will be here, when I saw it. Literally the one book that I have wished I had brought with me since the very day I got to Ghana. I jumped up and almost smashed the glass to get to it but instead waited until the door was opened. I grabbed it and hugged it and stole it and it will be mine until I leave it for the next person because I have my own copy at home, it was, it was, it was
IT WAS THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. I NOW HAVE MY FAVORITE BOOK (WELL ONE OF THREE BUT THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONE TO REREAD) WITH ME ALL THE TIME AND I AM READING IT AND IT IS MAKING ME SO HAPPY AND I AM JUST GOING TO KEEP REREADING IT FOR THE NEXT FIVE WEEKS 😀 😀 :D:D:D
I LOVE MY LIFE. Anyway, that was on Monday that I found my book. Yipee! Oh on one of those days I made myself tacos from stuff I bought at the supermarket. I had a whole narrative of my taco making but it was lost in the Microsoft work fuckup of 2011. (Along with my second paper, ISP proposal, and work journals. Fuck everything.) So Monday night we all went out for Terrrin’s birthday also it was Halloween. I really love Halloween in America, it’s my favorite holiday, so even though this was somewhat of a happy occasion it was also kind of depressing because we are in Africa at a bar with not real costumes instead of roaming between parties at Redlands with all my friends and excellent costumes. But it actually did end up being really fun. Cam and I were discussing this today, when we get together here and go out, it’s always fun. We never have a bad night. This is because you aren’t expecting anything. At night you can expect a party to be fun and then it’s lame and you get upset, or you want to see a specific person and they aren’t there and its depressing, but here we know what we’re gonna get and we go to a bar and hang out there all night and it’s just fun. So on Halloween we all had fun AND
- I did the freeze for the first time in Africa
- I ate kebabs (when in America will I be able to party and eat kebabs at the same time? Never.)
- It was just fun.
So that was a good night. The next day was Tuesday, we moved out of the hotel and had our last SIT meeting before the start of ISP. I moved, I figured some shit out, that was when I found The Time Traveler’s Wife, explored the new area, had lunch at Bush Canteen, went on the free school internet. Not too much exciting stuff.
Wednesday I met with my advisor in the morning…sort of. This is when Kofi stopped being helpful and started to veer into useless. Trent and I met up at this hotel before walking to Kofi’s workplace, and this was a damn nice hotel. Like a fancy schmancy hotel in America, except it was in Ghana. I was sitting there in all my gross Africa clothes (I don’t even have to specify because ALL MY CLOTHES ARE DISGUSTING) and I was like man, if this were America, I would not be able to sit in gross clothes in the lobby of a super nice hotel in my chacos and not have anyone bother me. But here, they’re just like she’s chilling she’s an obroni. I’m not going to complain about it. Then Trent arrived and we walked down to Kofi’s office (ish, I don’t’ really get it) place which is at the Nubuke Foundation which is basically just like a place for art in Ghana, apparently. Kofi came out and was like HAND ME YOUR ISP PLANS and we were like what? We have some notes. And he was like REWRITE IT AND GIVE IT TO ME I’LL BE BACK IN TEN. So we wrote them down nice for him and waited…and started chatting…I read a little bit…we chatted more…ME AND TRENT LITERALLY TALKED FOR TWO HOURS. Then Kofi came out, looked over what we had written, told us it was good, and left. Wait, remember the part where you were supposed to help me execute this? Apparently not, so now I’m on my own. Then Trent and I walked to lunch.
The next day was really my only productive day of my ISP so far. First I tried to go to the Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana. Keep in mind the word TRY. I went to the big tro tro place, America House, by where I am staying now, and then the friendly Ghanaian people helped me get on a tro tro to 37 which would take me in the right direction. I switched at 37, got on another tro tro,it was all good. Then I got off by Osu/Cantomments and a guy on the tro tro pointed me in the right direction of the Dubois Center which is where the FCA is located. Then I walked…and walked…and walked. Not a thing. Kept walking. Nobody even knew what the dubois center was. So finally a taxi stopped me (after I’d been walking aimlessly for half an hour) and asked where I was going, I told him, and I asked if it was in walking distance. His response? “Well…technically.”
So he drove me there and let me out and I paid him and then I found my way to the building where the FCA is located. It is a shack. With no one in it. It just says it’s the FCA, but really there were no people there and it was a shack. So that was cool. I copied down the phone number and walked down the street to call it. No answers on either number. So that was a waste of time. I decided I’d make my way to the National Museum, but I didn’t know where I was or where the museum was so I had to take a taxi. I fucking hate taxis. They are so expensive! I don’t mind spending money on food or souvieners (never spelling that right) or really anything but taxis just suck because tro tros are so much cheaper but sometimes you legitimately can’t take a tro tro because you aren’t near a tro tro stop or you don’t know where they or you are going etc. Anyway I took a taxi to the National Museum, and spent an hour or two there doing research. It didn’t really have much art at all and not any contemporary art, but it was still good research that I’ll be able to use in my ISP.
It took me an extremely long time to get home that day. First off, I had no idea where I was, secondly I had no idea how far away I was. Turned out pretty far. I walked for a while and then realized…walking was not going to get me any closer because I was pretty much on the other side of Accra. I don’t actually really have a good conception of this because maps of Accra don’t exist, but whatever. I know. I got a semi cheap taxi to a tro tro stop and then took a tro tro to 37, but then I endured the horrible: TRO TROS ALWAYS DROP YOU OFF ON RANDOM STREETS NEAR THE STATIONS INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL STATION. So I couldn’t really find where all the other tro tros were and just gave up and got a taxi. I had my period, I was just pissed off. Back at the ranch I took my second shower of the day (I NEVER do this) and sat around. Then I decided that it would be really a good idea for Trent and I to go to this art opening that night, so I called him and we were like YES. EVEN THOUGH THIS PLACE IS SUPER FAR AWAY WE’RE DOING IT. This is why I like that Trent is my fellow art person because a lot of people on this trip would be like that’s too far, too confusing, blah blah blah, but we were just like WE’RE DOING IT MEET YOU THERE.
Now this is actually a really good excellent funny story that requires its own entry. It is too fun to put in the middle of another entry. So look forward to that one.
Now then it was Friday. The beginning of me accomplishing nothing. I went to the school in the morning, thinking I’d turn in some late work. Instead I still couldn’t figure out how to print, wrote some of my ACS, and copied down the phone numbers of some art galleries…(that I still haven’t called.) Then Cam was visiting so we sat at a bar by Bush Canteen all afternoon talking. I mean it wasn’t productive but it was really fun and I need social time right? Exactly. That night we went to bed pretty early which was good because I was behind on sleep so I finally got twelve hours of sleep! Yes! So we will call that a social and health day. Keep in mind that I have been trying to contact Kofi literally every day and nothing has come of it so it’s not like I’m being totes lazy.. . I just don’t really know what to do haha.
Saturday aka Yesterday was another day of fun but also accomplishing nothing. Cam and I went out to brunch (SUCH AN AMERICAN CONCEPT) at this coffee place by where I’m staying, so we used the free Wifi, had tea and rice, and then played SCRABBLE. What a nice Westernized day! Then we found Emily and hung out for a while in the afternoon, then went out to dinner at this poolside place by our hotel and made up SO MANY FUN NEW GAMES. Well some of them we made up and some already existed but listen:
Game #1: everyone tells 4 or so stories about you and a guy. But without names. Then later you go on facebook and show your friends the guys and they have to guess which person matches with which story.
Game #2: Show friends the facebook of one person you are really close with and one person you do not like. They then have to guess which is which.
Game #3: Think of someone on your trip (in this case.) The others with you must ask questions such as “If this person were a Ghanaian food what would they be?” “If this person were a type of car what would they be?” “If this person were a country what would they be?” AND THEN YOU GUESS WHO THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. It was so fun!
So then we were just happy and playing games and being girls and it was so happy because you start to miss things like that when you are away from college. Now it is Sunday and I am going to try to call some of the art galleries but I am nervous because it is Sunday. Ah well. Maybe I’ll keep badgering Kofi and maybe one day he will respond! Stay tuned for my art opening adventure and in the future more news of my nonexistent ISP.