As our time in Ghana comes to a close, we all have begun to reflect on our various experiences. Personally, my second visit to Ghana has definitely given me a different perspective on the country. Initially, I expected my visit to be very similar if not exactly the same as the first. Boy, was I wrong. My first visit to Ghana I stayed in a village, had no electricity, and slept on thin sheets on latex foam. Like many researchers and tourist, I made the mistake of associating that part of Ghana to represent Ghana in its realist form. When I arrived for the second time, living in a guesthouse, with electricity, riding in air-conditioned cars, and having housekeeping, I automatically became angry.
I even remember saying to Keneya that we weren’t getting a “real” experience of Ghana. After writing my angry journal about day one and spending a week here, I realized that I was completely naiive to expect all of Ghana to be like the village. Like the United States, different parts of Ghana are more developed and are culturally different across every region. Not every one lives the “village life” in mud houses, drinking from the bore hole, no electricity, little traffic, and with chieves. Urban life exists. As the western world continues to interact with Ghana, Ghana will continue to change and become more “modernized”. After I accepted the modern aspect of Ghana, my frustration with the urban life slowly weeded out. I began to appreciate every moment – whether it was arguing with the taxi driver about the price, or singing a Barney song with a few of my students. Each one of these experiences revealed different sides of Ghana that will probably end up in one of the many stories I tell my family when I get home. Overall, my trip to Ghana has been great. I have learned so much about myself, others, and most importantly about Ghanaian culture. We have less than two weeks left and I can’t wait to get home to eat some bbq chicken, potato salad, mac and cheese, and bbq beans. Mother, if you are reading this please take a mental note…
Until next time,