I went to the Heritage Museum the second week I was here, and literally everything in the museum bore resemblance to things back home. Some things like the “coal pot” and “grinding stone” are still being used in some places in Ghana in this present day. As I walked through, I wished for some miracle that people here would know how strong the connection is. How we really are one people no matter what the Colonizer would have us believe. Sigh. Sadly, I think this perspective is only gained by traveling and perhaps reading and talking to actual real-live Africans 🙂 (to an extent) and I’ve decided I am more than happy to be the guinea pig and tour guide.
She held out a four-strip traditionally woven Kente stole. Kente cloth held the distinction of matching everything even when it clashed.
Scotch Bonnets are some of the world’s hottest peppers. They rank anywhere from 100000-350000 on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale. This is a measure of how hot a chili pepper is (or for that matter, anything derived from a chili pepper). The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville who developed the test in 1912. Your…
I walk down the street in my flowing Ghanaian print dress. I am on my way to my favorite Ethiopian café to journal about my swearing-in ceremony. I am sentimental. I want to shout out, and then grin broadly while I tell everyone I meet, “I am a US citizen now.” I smile broadly at…
So I write this blog entry for KT who is making her first trip to Ghana and to the continent of Africa, fifteen years from that first hello and handshake. I want to say Akwaaba and re-introduce myself: Akwaaba, wo fr3m Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe. Mi y3 Ghana nyi. These are my people; these are where my roots lie. If you are ready, we can wander the back-roads of Melody-Ann and the new tracks of Kuukua. This is for you my friend.
Was it worth it all? What happens if I decide this is not for me, and I want out? What do I do with all these things I’ve shipped to Ghana? But what if I decide, I want to stay? How many of my contemporaries return to Ghana and stay this early in their lives,l. at age 34? I know of folks retiring there after they’ve acquired their “fortunes” or amassed enough wealth to live better than they used to live when they were there. I know these folks are around my mother’s age. But what would the country look like if my contemporaries all came home in their numbers and pushed for better functioning public service systems. New public restrooms. Dual-, better yet, multiple-carriage roadways that were built in the allotted amount of time with no contractor “chopping” the money. Traffic regulations implemented and thwarters penalized. Child labor abolished and perpetrators dealt with harshly. The status of women elevated and their well-being and thriving be of national concern. What if my coming home, our coming home would aid in this process? Would I have the patience to deal with the traffic, poor cell service, filthy public restrooms or lack of, and the superiorist attitudes of men?
A place I hadn’t lived in for 16 years. I am taking a big leap of faith dragging myself off to another continent and especially to a country where sexism and homophobia have lunch together every day. A place where any sense of progressiveness is sometimes seen as an adoption of Western ideals and a booting of the traditional homegrown ones. Homophobia and sexism are preached in the pulpit on Sundays at most churches, discussed and prayed about at Bible Study on weekdays, and argued about over Star beer in the local chop bars where men retreat to instead of going home to their toiling wives.