Tomorrow Next

Instead of saying ‘the day after tomorrow,’ Ghanaians say ‘tomorrow next.’ It’s so much easier! Listen up, America.

So tomorrow next is my flight! Everything is going really well in Accra. The busride only took twelve hours instead of fourteen, I ate banku with mega fish and crab last night, the smoothie place now has coffee drinks and it’s drizzly cold. I’ve been busy making appointments with pc people, doing medical stuff, going to the dentist, getting things checked off the master COS list. It’s all good :)

PS: Happy 100th post! (Aka the real reason why I wrote this. Who leave their blog at 99 posts? Not me.)


“I Won’t Come Back”

Well, I’ve left school. Yesterday I got to Bolga early and took the 6am bus to Tamale, where I am now. On Sunday, I’ll take one last fabulous bus ride to Accra, do official distings for three days and then fly out on the 28th. So soon.

“Goodbye” is sometimes used as a verb here – I spent the last week goodbyeing people in the village and finally at school. It was an interesting process. A lot of people were really sorry to see me leave, even people that I didn’t think would care that much. It was touching. The basic conversation went like this..

“Hey, so, you know, on Thursday I’m leaving Tongo to go to America.”

“Oh! Oh oh. And when will you come back?”

(head shaking, shrugging) “I won’t come back.”

“OH! Oh ohhhh we will miss you!”

Etc etc. Then we trade contact information and take a picture if I have my camera with me. It really was a process of checking people off the goodbye list – first people in Bolga, then people in Tongo, then school people and students. On Tuesday we had a staff goodbye party for me. It was really really nice! We all sat in the student desks, the acting headmaster opened the meeting, a bucket of boiled groundnuts was passed around and the secretary passed out the drinks. I love that official functions include the drinking of alcohol here. The the acting head made a speech about me and opened the floor for other people and they said nice things about me. Then they wanted me to say something. I was really glad for the opportunity to say all at once, to everyone, how much I appreciated them and loved my time at school etc. Of course, I immediately started crying, but it was really okay. Afterward, I thought how if I started crying like that in front of American colleagues, it would probably be really awkward and embarrassing, but this is case it wasn’t. I felt okay about it. When I was done crying/talking, they presented me with a smock!!! See picture below. I love it! I love smocks and always wanted one, but they’re costly! I’m super pumped about it. I was a little tipsy at that point and did a little happy dance when I saw what it was. They all liked that. After the meeting ( I closed with the closing prayer, which they also liked) we took a staff picture and that was that. It was a great, closure-giving experience.

Saying goodbye to the students was also really nice. For a few weeks before, they’d known when I was leaving. I didn’t want to surprise them with it (and I wanted the kids for whom I was keeping money to come and collect it in time), so I’d periodically at assembly made an announcement that was like “Goooooood Moooooooooooooorning! Me out date/number when????” And they would all be like “TWENTYONEEEEE” (which is my favourite number sign, the one that looks like you’re squirting a water guy). So they knew it was coming. A few days before I left, I took pictures of all the classes and took individual pictures with all the JSS students. It was funny. Then, on the morning of the 20th, I told them at assembly how much I loved them and how happy my two years were here. It was nice. They all told me to travel safe. Good, heartwarming closure all around. :)

I’ve finally been about to plug in my camera – here are some pictures for you.

It’s a smock!

Smocks are great!

Staff picture. I’m the white one.

This is Dorcas, one of my small girls. She wanted to take this picture.

This is my other small girl. She was eating the big flying bugs that people here roast, salt and eat. They’re actually delicious. I believe this is a self portrait.

This is Salifu. He’s one of my favs.

Lucy, Ennis and Agana washed my bike for me. It was great fun.

Tongo market day!

Bolga market lady. This is how you buy underwear (called ‘pants’) in Ghana.

Here’s Julius! He’s now off to Takoradi for the Air Force.

This is Beatrice and Godsbig.

Jamilu loves him some banku.

Ennis learned how to jump rope! They call the jump rope a “skipping rope.” They come to my house and say, “Katreen, I want skipping.” Cute.

Selling oil at Bolga market. HILARIOUS.

Here’s what paragliding looked like.

P5

I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Pictures from Ghana. I’ll talk to you later, probably from Accra!


1. I’ve had vivid food dreams that past two nights. In one of them, I was at a mongolian bbq place. The line where you get the stuff started out normal but then it turned into cereal – specifically Lucky Charms and Cheerios – and blueberries. In the other, there was a big bunch of PCVs all together and we were at some party or something. All of a sudden all these huge things of candy started appearing. Like, big bundles of candy bars. Except these were new kinds of candy! I distinctly remember there being black Kitkat bars, a peanutbutter version of the cookies and cream Hershey’s bar and extra tacky Airheads. There were also little pies filled with cookie dough. It was amazing.

2. I’m in Bolga today, goodbyeing (because that’s a verb here) various people – Leon at the bank, Abdullah and Salome at the post office, Dancia and Prospera at the internet. I’m also clothes shopping. For some crazy reason, it is so so much easier to find cute trousers here than it is in America. All of the clothes sellers here have what would be the cream of the crop at American thrift stores. Just today, I’ve found two pairs of jeans, another pair of trousers, a shirt and a jacket. I also also ate some delicious banku. Today is the last day that I will actually be in Bolga. When I leave next Thursday, I’ll only be here to switch from the lorry from Tongo to the lorry to Tamale. It’s strange.

3. I’m starting to get sad about leaving. It’s all this goodbyeing. It’s weird knowing that you’ll most likely never see people again. Leaving the people at school will be the saddest.

4. It just got done raining here, so I’m out! With the postrain breeze, riding home will be nice!

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A few things:

-  My good friend Julius got accepted into Ghana’s Air Force! The selection process was very difficult and he’s super excited about it. He leaves next week to go to basic training in Takoradi for six months. It seems somehow appropriate that we are leaving Tongo at the same time. I’m really enjoying spending time with him before he goes.

- It finally rained last night! It should be raining here about once every other day but it just hasn’t been happening. Farms that should be starting to be harvested now are barely just planted. People in my friend Jake’s village have been singing/praying for rain every night. It’s a really bad situation for the farmers. Global warming, people.

- Trivia! Since coming here, I’ve sent 13,876 texts and received 18,502. I’ve had the same phone this whole time, so that is comprehensive data right there. Impressed???

-  People are always staring at my feet, which I think is funny. I have two two rings and two ankle bracelets – totally weird – and usually if there is a little kid within a few feet of me, they’re looking at my feet.

- I leave my house fifteen days from today. It’s really weird – being excited to go home but also stressed at leaving my life here, knowing that I’ll never be able to come back to it. Twilight Zone weird. Out!

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As of tomorrow I have one month left as an active PCV. What! Here’s another ABC for you, as seen from the end.

A is for…..Agana and Anita, aka children who used to run away screaming whenever they saw my scary white whiteness but now are my best little friends ever. Anita was the first to come around (Agana wasn’t even born until the first October I was here). These days she likes to come over, wedge my little zipper wallet under her arm and tell me definitively that she is going to Bolga. I always tell her she should buy me biscuits. She agrees but has yet to come through :). Agana is a more recent convert to the White Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Mean Terrifying Club. He’s in the babbling/squealing stage, so we don’t have conversations so much as we make high-pitched noises at each other and smile. We also like shaking jars of rice and dancing together, lessons in how to stick my sweatrag behind my shirt strap and attempts at learning words like ‘flower’ and ‘button’ from looking at cartoon pictures of them. It’s nice to not induce crazed and frightened wails anymore.

               …..Abdullah. This guy works at the post office and he’s fantastic. He calls me when I have packages to pick, is always happy to see me and once came in on an official holiday so I could pick something up. Would that happen in America? No. He’s also got a nephew who is going to come to my school when next term opens.

              …..ASL. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been placed at a deaf school. Learning and communicating in Sign Language has been one of the biggest joys of this experience. I love how expressive and easy to learn it is. I love that it takes brain power to figure out how to explain things you don’t know the signs for or, if there are signs, the students won’t understand them. It’s a physically fun language to use and it’s really fun to joke around in. I plan on only improving in my ASL abilities upon return to the motherland.

B is for…..Banku. It’s my favourite Ghanaian food (which is saying something) and I’ve been eating lots of it lately. It’s nice because it’s versatile – you can eat it with okro soup, groundnut soup or pepe and fish (as seen in picture). It’s made from corn that you let soak in water for a few days and then grind. Then you cook it into sticky, starchy balls and go to town with it and whatever else you’re eating it with. It’s fermented and delightful.

              …..the BBC. God bless the Brits. I listen to the BBC on my shortwave radio everyday and love it. I feel way more connected with the world now than I ever did in America, which should just be ridiculous. I know what’s going on in a country where my only news comes from a little black box than I did in a country where I have contant access to radio, tv, newspapers and the internet. This has a lot to do with free time but still.There has to be some lesson in overstimulation in here somewhere

             …..my bike. My bike is probably my most valuable posession. I love it. It’s red and I painted green and purple stripes around the bars that connect the front and back. It has a grey plastic basket and a rack over the back tire. I love this thing. It gets me to and from Bolga freely and gives me good exercise. If I could bring it to America, I would.

            …..Beatrice. I remember the first time I ever met Beatrice, I was in the market in Tongo and I saw her at her stall. She was so enthusiastic and nice to me that I thought she thought we’d already met before, but no, she is just a really nice person. She’s been a great friend to me, listening to me gripe about things or just sit sullenly at her house not really saying anything when I’m in a funk. She’s also opened up to me a lot about her life, which I really like. It’s been really nice to feel like a valued friend as well as to have valued friends. Hooray Beatrice.

C is for…..coconuts. In the south, you’ll find young men with flatbed carts piled up with coconuts. Not coconuts like you get at the grocery store, ones with the thick green hull still on the outside. The guy will machete off the top part of the outside so it’s more pointy at the top, and then he’ll whack the point off and hand it to you. Drinking the water inside the coconut is my favourite part. I think I’ve read that coconut water is a new health fad in America? I hope so. After you’ve drained it, the guy will machete the whole thing open and cut a small flat piece of the hull off for you to use as a scraper to scrape out the meat inside and eat. It’s usually pretty soft and you just slurp it up, but you can also get the harder ones if you like. It’s fantastic. You can do this whole process while standing on the side of the road or you can take it away; he’ll pour the water in a small plastic bag and use the tip of his machete to get the meat out to put in another bag. I don’t think I’ve ever written this much about coconuts before in my life. At least its indicative of how much I love them. Just yesterday I came across one of the guys in Tamale for the first time. Best day ever.

               …..cooking. Cooking has been such a big part of my life here – cooking new things and learning how to cook old things with new, available in Ghana ingredients. The list of things I’ve cooked for the first time here is a long one – bagels, guacamole, anything with dried beans, pancakes not from a premade mix, flat bread, etc etc etc. It’s been an interesting time. I’m really really looking forward to cooking again in America where all ingredients are available.

D is for…..Dancia. Dancia is my friend at the internet café in Bolga. She’s a super sweet girl and when I’m not sure if there are lights in Bolga, I can call her to see if I should make the trip in to use the internet. She calls me “Katty.”

             …..dashing. Dashing is the best thing ever. It’s when you get free stuff. Two examples from just yesterday: I forgot to take money with me on my morning walk and I decided that I wanted groundnuts. I passed a girl selling them and I asked her if she would give me some and I’d come and pay for them the next morning. She told me to ask her big brother and he said I could just have them. Dash! Then I needed to get some trousers that I bought taken in so I walked to a seamstress who was sitting outside her shop. She stopped what she was working on, sewed darts into the back of the waist band, I tried them on, she made the darts bigger and then they fit. When I asked her how much I should give her, she said nothing, it was free. Dash! Awesome. People are so nice. I am also routinely dashed green onions because they are so cheap that the small amount that I want isn’t really worth anything. One day Andy and I asked various market women if we could just have one of something – one tomato, one garden egg, etc. They all agreed. Dashes! Oh, you also get dashes when you buy things like tomatoes. You might buy a little pile of tomatoes for 50 pesewas, but they’ll always dash you a few from the basket they have under their table.

E is for…..Ennis. Ennis recently learned how to jump rope with the jump rope I bought for two cedis in Bolga. It took him a few days, but he got it. My first memory of Ennis is sitting with him outside my house with a piece of paper and some crayons. We were learning the names of colours. Right now he’s a colour-naming genius and right at the age between happy silly childhood and more aware, “cool kid” childhood. I can tell he’s going to grow up to be a good person.

F is for…..Fataiya. She hangs out with me. She makes me clothes. She lets me watch horrible, unsubtitled Bollywood movies with her. She cooks the best Ghanaian food ever. She’s been my best friend here.

              …..Four, the average number of times children will scream greetings at you if you are biking  past them and ignoring them.

              …..”Finished.” This is the word you use when something has run out or stopped. “No, you can’t have rice, it’s finished.” “Oh, I was feeling sick, but now it’s finished.”

G is for…..Gilbert. Gilbert is the super nice older man who I stay with when I stay in Accra. He’s always had free room for me and it’s so nice to get to his super simple but always clean place after the long bus ride to Accra. And he was really nice to me last Christmas.

            …..Good Taste. Good Taste is the restaurant I’ve been going to a lot recently in Bolga. They have a menu that makes no sense (things spelled all different ways, old prices, strangely listed items), but their food is good and they let me sub fried plantians for meat with meals. The first time I asked about doing this, she was confused (because eating fried plantains with anything besides bean stew is something that is never done), but we got it done and I’ve been happy ever since.

              …..Godisbig, Beatrice’s adorable and very hilarious son. He’s learned to sit, walk and talk since I’ve been here. They were super cute the other day – they were pretending to spit on their palms and then slap each other on the back. It sounds weird, but Godisbig looooved it. He was cracking up. His laugh sometimes really does sound like “ha ha ha!” It makes me happy to see them play together.

              …..Greeting. I don’t even know how many times I’ve said “Goood mahning/aftuhnoon/eveuhning in this country. So. Many. You have to do it before you start talking to someone

H is for…..Hygeine? Emphasis on the question mark. I just combed my hair for the first time in memory (srs) and I don’t know the last time I washed it. My feet are always dirty. I’m always sweaty. Basically I look, and probably smell, like a hobo. It’s actually pretty nice to live somewhere where how you look really doesn’t matter. There are no expectations and it doesn’t affect your work. Actually, it’s helped me that I’m dirty. My friend Julius told me that people in Tongo appreciate that I’m ‘simple,’ part of this being that I don’t mind of little kids get me dirty. I like the lack of judging/caring about how people look.

I is for…..Infinite Jest, at 1079 pages the longest book I’ve read here.

             …..Issah. Remember Andy’s small boy? We still have adorable phone conversations. Here’s a sample: “Hello?” “Madame Katharyn, good evening!!!!” “Issah! Hi! Good evening. How are you?” “I’m fine and you?” “Oh, I am also fine.” “I want to call and inform you that I am now my school’s health prefect!” “Issah, that is great!” etc etc. He’s such an awesome and sweet kid.

              …..Ignoring people. I do this every single day. People will want to talk to me while I’m biking past them. Ignore. Little kids will yell at me. Ignore. Men will summon me across the street to talk to them. Ignore. You get used to it.

J is for…..Jamilu. He’s Fataiya’s boyfriend and he’s great. He’s helped me learn a lot new signs and he’s just an all around cool guy. He is always studying (he and Fataiya are taking college courses during the holidays) and he sometimes asks me to explain things he comes across. I had to explain what indoctrination is in sign language. It took some thinking, but it was eventually successful.

K is for…..“Katharyn” or, rather, for all the different ways people say my name here: “Kahtrine”(Jennifer), “Katrrrrreen” (Ruben, with a rolled R), “Katrin” (Francis, Godfrey), “Sister Kate” (teacher Beatrice), “Kate Kate” (James, my bike man in Tongo), “Kat Kat” (Abdullah, my post office best friend), “Kuhtrine” (most random village people), and, of course, this, on the left elbow.

L is for…..latrine. My relationship with latrines has come a long way. I used to do everything to avoid using them – they’re usually dirty, smelly and visibly displaying their reasons for existence, much to the delight of flies and/or maggots. These things are all still true, but now I don’t really care. They’re convenient, they only cost about ten or twenty pesewas (section of foreign – usually German – newspaper included) and when you have to go, you usually have to go, so there’s no use being snobby about it. These days, I say three cheers for public poop holes.

               …..Lucy. I think I notice that Lucy has grown up the most out of all the little kids. When I got here, she barely knew any English at all. Now she’s great. I love love love her. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m closer with her than with anyone else at school. Like when we are both laying on my yoga mat and she’s rambling on about random things or when she bursts into the room saying “Katreen, I think you no here!” just before running around to hide behind my bedroom door in case any of the other kids comes looking for her. She’s such a beautiful girl. I know I’ll miss her a lot.

  M is for…..”Managing.” This is a typical response to ‘how are you?’ usually in the form of “Oh, we are managing.” Similar responses include “better” and “we can’t complain.”

               …..Mismatched clothes. The things I wear here would make American me cringe. For instance - a blue/purple/orange tiedye skirt with an olive green tank top, green/blue/white baggy batik tie pants with a light pink running shirt, orange/red batik pants with a light blue tank top. Nothing ever matches. And it’s totally okay.

              …..Market. I love the market system – it’s simple, stuff is cheap and fresh. You can buy things individually, like a single candle or an ounce of groundnuts tied up in a little bag or a smallish piece of coconut. The market is always there, but it’s bigger on market days. Even in Tongo, it sometimes gets so congested that you can get stuck in foot traffic. There are people who only come on market days – the people selling clothes, stationary supplies, nailpolish. There are food sellers mixed in with the normal sellers – the people selling fried bean dough, jollof rice, soya kebabs. It’s a fun atmosphere. I like that people get together.

N is for…..Neil Nunes. This guy presents the news on the BBC and his voice is hilarious. Everytime he comes on – it’s a treat, not often – I can’t stop laughing. Click on the first link on this page to join in the fun.

O is for…..Oil. There is so much oil used in Ghanaian cooking. It pools on top of the soups, stains your plates and fingers (the oil is usually bright orange palm oil), and makes your food really unhealthy. It is also delicious.

P is for…..Pito. Pito is a locally made drink. They make it from millet and let it ferment for a few days to make the alcoholic version or drink it immediately for the sweeter, nonalcoholic version. You drink it from calabash bowls made from the dried calabash gourds. You’ll find a pito seller (usually a middle-aged woman), you tell her how much you want, she’ll fill a bottle that corresponds with how much you want and then pour it into your calabash. I’ve had many happy pito times with Beatrice, various Tongo people, other teachers and myself :). Pito tastes like an uncarbonated and much less sweet mix of beer and hard cider.

Q is for…..the question mark sign. This isn’t a normally used sign, but you can use it after asking a question to make it clear that what you just said was a question. You make it by drawing a question mark in the air by crooking your first finger, if that makes sense. Jamilu uses it sometimes.

R is for…..Raincation. A raincation is when it rains and you get a vacation because of it. No one will be outside their houses or doing anything productive so neither should you! You get to stay inside too, put on your neglected long-sleeved shirts and pants and putter around. Raincations are enjoyed by all.

S is for…..Small girls. These girls are rockstars. They wash dishes, burn trash, wash sheets and floor mats, sweep, wash my bike, take my bowl to collect school food and generally are amazing. Dorcas is in PreJSS and the other one (I actually don’t know how to spell or pronounce her name, her sign name is an A going from the left shoulder to right hip bone) come around in the mornings, afternoons and evenings to see if there is anything I want them to do. If there is nothing, I give them stuff to play with – they’ve created their own game using Uno cards and bingo cards. They’re really funny girls. One night when lights were out, I gave my head lamp to Dorcas to use and she liked it so much she did a little happy dance. She didn’t know I was watching.

              …..”Somehow.” Ghanaians say ‘somehow’ where Americans would say ‘somewhat.’

              …..Streetview. This is the name of the spot that we go to in Bolga. It’s a normal place – chairs and tables with umbrellas, covered in Star promotional paint, with a normal selection of beer and minerals. The proprietor’s wife is named Maggie. She’s super nice and watches my bike for me when I’m in Bolga for the day. Streetview is also conveniently located across from Daily Needs, one of our favourite obruni stores, and right next to my favourite date-selling old woman.

              …..Solitude. There is a lot of this here and it comes in many forms – simply just being alone, feeling culturally/linguistically alone, feeling separate from the ability to have a good, face to face conversation with someone who will really understand what you are saying to them, missing people, always having to work things through in your own mind without having the ability to use other people as sounding boards, knowing that you have free hours to yourself that no one will interrupt, feeling crazily too much inside your own head. Solitude is a big part of living here for me.

             …..”Selamie.” I don’t know how to spell it, but this is how you say the word for white person or foreigner in Frafra. It’s the Frafra version of “Obruni.” It’s the most annoying word ever. I look forward to never hearing it again after leaving Ghana. It’s not meant as an insult, just an identifier, but it’s still a really really annoying thing to hear everyday. Especially when children are screaming it repeatedly at you. (See: ignore).

T is for…..Tamale. Tamale is a great city, my favourite in Ghana. I spent a lot of time there when Andy lived there and got to know it somehow well. It’s nice and spread out (unlike Kumasi, worst city in the world) and you can have a nice 45 minute walk from the station to the PC office. Tamale has awesome Chinese food and burgers, a nice Vodaphone internet cafe (Bolga still doesn’t have one) and well stocked little supermarkets. It’s also nice to be able to leave from the bus station in Tamale rather than Bolga – it helps break up the trip. Tamale is a mainly Muslim city and I like seeing the way people dress, hearing the calls to prayer and buying dates :).

              …..the two-cedi bill. This came out about a year ago and it’s so so handy. It really made paying for things under five cedis a lot easier. And it brightened up the rainbow in the wallet :). (One cedi is red, five cedis is blue, ten cedis is green, twenty is purple and fifty is brown.)

U is for…..”Urinate.” Ghanaians use this word way more than Americans do. “I feel like urinating,” etc. I use it a lot too.

V is for…..Vincenzia. This little girl is the girly girl complement to Anita’s scrappiness. She (like all of the kid) has grown up a lot. Her cheeks are still chubby, though; we say they are bowfruit (sweet fried dougy balls), the ones that are 30p each. When she and Anita come to my house, she likes to walk around and say “Heh, my mother, she will buy this one for me.” I also had a little metal cup that I once gave her some juice in that she now calls “my small cup” – “Where is my small cup? I want to drink wahtah in my small cup.” (“I want to drink water” is something kids say here a lot. It’s used instead of “I’m thirsty.”)

W is for…..Words that I’ve heard in conversation that I’ve never before heard used in an everyday setting. Some of these include “jubilate,” “thrice,” and “peeping.” Also, I don’t know if I never noticed it before, but people – Ghanaians and people I hear on the BBC, use the phrase “at the end of the day” all the time. All the time. Everyone uses it. How did I miss this?

               …..”Whazzzzzzzup???” Okay, so my school’s accountant’s assistant is constantly talking to me in what he thinks is an American way. “Whazzzzzup?” is a common question no matter how many times I tell him that Americans don’t actually say that and that the rappers he sees on TV aren’t actually good examples of real Americans. He hasn’t been convinced. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

X is for…..    Xcited to go home?

Y is for…..Yams. They’re big and they’re brown and they’re delicious in fufu or just boiled. Let’s hear it for the best tuber in Ghana.

Z is for…..Zebilla, Zuarungu, Zabzugu – the Z villages I can think of right now :)

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My eyelashes catch my sweat

Yes they do. So it’s officially rainy season, but, really, it’s been a pretty lame one so far. It’s really acting more like hot season with some teasingly dark clouds in the distance that never amount to the desired outcome. Last night the lights went out around ten and I woke up ridiculously sweaty. I mean, the sweat woke me up. That is just ridiculous. And gross.  So I schlepped my floor mat and yoga mat (what I sleep on these days) outside and for the first time ever was successful at al fresco snoozing. Usually I’m too irritated by bugs, but there was an awesome breeze last night that kept them away.  God bless circulating air.

So life continues in Tongo and Bolga. I’m on duty this week, the best part of which is hanging out in the dining hall during meals. There’s nothing stopping me from doing that all the time, I just tend to do it more when it’s part of a specific responsibility. I’ve known this pretty much from the beginning, but my students are the best. Best best best. Yesterday during lunch (beans + gari/dried ground cassava), one PreJSS student named Salifu and I had this conversation:

S – Robert said that he doesn’t want his food. He wants to give it to you so you can eat it and then have babies! (implying that the babies come from the food)

Me – What? That’s probably a bad idea. Because if that happens, I’ll have BEAN BABIES. And then you, Salifu, will eat them. And I will cry.

Then he and everyone around were like, true true, and we all laughed. Bean babies. I love it.

What else?

- Beatrice and Godisbig have moved back to Tongo, which is good news for me. Yesterday I went and visited her at her house. She was washing and I just sat there for a while and looked at the hills. It was late afternoon and the light was really pretty. It was also nice to hang out with her and not talk. Ghanaians are a lot more comfortable with silence than Americans are, I think, and it was just nice to sit. I’ve pretty much become a pro at sitting aimlessly for long periods of time by now. It’s just something you get used to.

- I’m starting to give away lots of my stuff. I love it – both the cleansing feeling of removing stuff from the life and also making people happy by receiving it. Less stuff = more happy.

- PreJSS and JSS1 are tearing up at multiplication flash cards these days. They’re doing a lot less counting on the fingers are more remembering the answers. I love it. They love it. Hooray for brain skillz.

- I read the Grapes of Wrath for the first time the other week. SO. GOOD.

- I’m eating as much Ghanaian food as I can these days. I just can’t get enough. I just can’t get enough.

I’ll be home next month! Whattttt.

 


Well well. Happy Saturday/End of the World to you! I’m in Bolga because I need to charge my phone and ipod and lights are out in Tongo. The other day there was a big storm and it knocked down several poles leading from Bolga to Tongo. So basically, we’re having lights out for the next few days, maybe more. It’s all good though. As long as the rains keep up, it’ll be cool enough to sleep at night without drowning in sweat. This also gives me the chance to romantically read by candlelight every night :).

In other news, my official End of Peace Corps date is July 27. I’m leaving the country the 28th and getting home the 29th. Pretty. Psyched. For Chinese food! And other things. :) Until then, I’m teaching, taking lots of walks, falling asleep on my floor every afternoon, playing with kids and trying to take more pictures. Life goes on as normal :)

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