You give hugs, make room for bisous on the cheek, administer kisses on the back of white hands, give warm and enthusiastic ‘good mornings’ to the friends I have brought to visit Ghana. You ask fondly about high school friends you “approved” of. You tell those I bring home, “I love and Bless you!” To me, you say “ayeekoo” when it suits you. You don’t apologize for disliking some of my friends even as you embrace others. You don’t ask after my painful moments; you just assume life goes on so I should too, and fast.
She was still the odd ball, only this time it wasn’t her dorky, oversized eyeglasses and ill-fitting jeans suspended under the oversized Hawaiian shirt mom had sent by DHL. “I guarantee you’ll love it mom had practically squealed over the phone. It’s all the rage with teens over here,” she had added. She wanted to be cool so badly and she knew she’d be cooler if her clothes were exactly what were being worn abroad. When the clothes finally arrived, her 80-pound body barely filled out the size six clothing, creating a scarecrow figure complete with glasses.
Throughout the three months I have cooked more than I cooked when I was in Ghana last year, however my true success came a couple days ago when I cooked my first Ghanaian four-course meal for Christmas day. I topped that with a Boxing Day brunch for 10 people. I just might have a career in cooking! 😀 In addition to cooking, I have tried to do more touristy stuff (when I can sneak out) and have met some amazing new people in the process. All is not lost! Cooking, writing, and these new friends have kept me going the last three months. (well that and Skype and text conversations with Bay Area family)
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.