There aer some details worth mentioning that I did not get a change to mention last blog post. 1) I already have gotten local water in my mouth and am waiting for the bowel disaster to strike. 2) it was a torrential downpour this morning, but is already warming up. 2) the evangelizing churches are everywhere, and if we arn't listening to mainstream, western music on portable radios, we can hear tele-pastors laying doctrine on thick. 3) I have now become FB friends with the internet cafe` owners and they gave me a new name (names go by what day of the week you were born on here) which is Afue Meredith (we decided Wednesday was a good choice). 4) the showers are nice and cold and I have been turning off the water in between soaping up and washing off... some of you out there wouldn't make it I'm thinking. 4) there is sewage all over the streets and there is garbage too, anyone complaining about city taxes would become silent very quickly. 5) phone cards are expensive and I think this will be how I plan to mass-communicate from now on (with the exception of two things, writing Tony and responding to personal emails).
The group went to visit the university here today, it was a 40 minute cab ride for Janaan to discuss the potential study abroad program with a professor here, so I opted to stay and have the morning to myself to relax/reflect. Eric and I are sharing a room, I think he's a little surprised at how long women can spend doing things in the bathroom. It's funny how differently women and men pack, live, wind down, etc.. differently. Anyway, it will be only a temporary situation until we leave for Damango on Tuesday. That's when true "roughing it" begins.
The food does contain a lot of meat. I have already realized that I will probably have to eat some at some point, either out of courtesy or mistake. Otherwise, I will have the choice of rice or fruit. It's possible I won't have any teeth when I come back if I don't start to adapt to these western mimics. Think of McDonalds with talapia in the buffet line instead of chicken fingers. Interesting...
The world cup festivities are still happening despite the Ganaian loss. Black Star flags are everywhere and there are public spaces dedicated to watching the games. Its fun! I am also noticing the poverty more and more. It seems that the majority of the improverished are merely squatters on closed lots. Clothes are just hanging out to dry wherever, and the homeless are just sleeping wherever they can catch some shade. On the other hand, those with some money (none compared to U.S. standards, however) live decently and there is quite a disparity. It is very easy to tell who is squatting/homeless and who is not. Another thing we have notices is that the schoolgirls, even the young women, all have short hair. I knew this was not due to a stylistic decision, but am thinking it is either because of lice or for easier care. All the women have beautiful braids and long hair and are, generally speaking, well dressed. No shorts, rarely pants, but nothing much higher than the knee. Cleavage is a different story.
Anyway, I am thinking I should have brought some philosophy with me. Anything to help with the struggle to understand how capitalism has resulted in the inequality of nations (such as Ghana and the U.S.), whether or not they participate in the economic system itself or not (which they do). I am also wondering about he destruction of indigenous cultures and why the people here have attempted to be as westernized s possible. I think this may also be related to participating in capitalism. In any case, my reflections are quite different than the rest of the group so far. They are all quite up to speed on Ghanaian culture as a whole (typical Honors College students!), but are more surprised by issues that I was also aware of before arrival (such as housing conditions, swarming evangelists, etc). Anyway, we are going to head to the market this afternoon and see what we can find! More later,