I’m not sure if it is just being abroad or the unique culture that is Ghana that has made me abandon my type A tendencies and become care free. One of the first things Dr. Bowles taught us was that we would have to be flexible or else we would be very unhappy. I have learned that while in Ghana you should not to plan for anything and expect everything. If someone says they will be somewhere at a certain time give them at least 30 minutes of cushion. Though I guess this isn’t too different from the sense of time black people have come to call “BPT” or “Black People Time”, the notion or moreover joke that we are almost always late. What has surprised me the most is how much Ghana feels like my home back in the states. Things from hearing people call each other “boss” and seeing girls wear waist beads are things I was familiar with in New York and now understand a little bit of where they come from.
With only two days left I can’t help but think about all the things that I will miss. But I am also comforted by the fact that I live in a place like New York City, that allows me to experience some of this culture once again. Going back home I am hopeful that I will be able to tell Ghanaians apart from the many different people who have come from Africa to live in my home city. That maybe when there are speaking Fante or Twe on the train or the bus I will know that they are Ghanaians. With this being said I am most excited to go home and into these Ghanian communities to eat red red and speak to my Ghanaian friends about the time I had in their country.
There are certain things that are so unique to my experience here. There is no feeling like the feeling I get when I look around and everyone shares the same skin color as me. When I walk into the hospital for my internship and all the doctors and executives of the hospital are people of color. A place where natural hair or braids aren’t seen as unprofessional, but a norm. Where the color of my skin doesn’t make different, but makes me connected to the majority.
Though I look forward to the next time I come to Ghana and I do so without a group comprised of people with little exposure to black and/or African culture. I look forward to going somewhere and not having to see the judgment in peoples in eyes and having to bear witness to the ways that their western perception of the world makes them see Ghana and Ghanaians. At the same time this experience has made me cautious that I don’t exhibit these same habits and that I go into life in general with an open mind.