It’s getting towards the middle of October, the time of year I love perhaps most of all—for the beautiful Fall foliage, and, most importantly, for the virtually perfect weather/temperature. There are only a few non-Winter months when I’m not completely disgusting to look at/be around, and October is usually one of those months. Here in Ghana, October is turning into a fiend. There’s a war being waged against me, with October being the front line of November’s treacherous army. The weapon of choice? Debilitating heat. I’m
definitely probably exaggerating a bit with the use of that word, but anybody who knows me understands that once temperatures rise above approximately 65 77 degrees, my body is no longer capable of keeping me in the semipresentable appearance I strive to maintain. I’ve reached the point of requiring separate morning and afternoon shirts. I knew that this would probably be the case in the months leading up to this experience; Ghana’s basically on the damn equator after all. I decided that I wouldn’t let my unfortunate sweat glands get in the way of my travels, but when I think about having about 70 more days of these temperatures that will only be getting higher, I just want to hide in a freezer. Or run away to Iceland. In essence: livin’ in this town is like livin’ in the Devil’s butt crack (Credit: April Ludgate).
Anyway, back to the important stuff. This week I learned so much, and by so much I mean so little. I have so much nonsense I want to share, so I’ll break it down per class.
First, in “Sucks That Y’all Were Born in Ghana,” Bossman gave a shockingly uncritical lecture on globalization. In between, he spewed some wisdom and observations:
- He explained (in detail) how a fax machine works.
- “It used to be that when you received many letters you were a somebody. Today you’re a colonial person if you receive letters.”
- “We are poor because we don’t give enough money.” Uhh…that doesn’t sound like it makes much sense, but..maybe it does. I don’t know.
- “If you can buy the pizza, you have arrived. AMEN, Bossman. Amen.
I haven’t talked about Twi in a while, mostly because it’s probably the one class that I don’t have any issues with. It’s a combination of the professor being just the cutest older Ghanaian man alive, and the class consisting of people I
don’t mostly actively dislike. On Monday, my professor wasn’t around, forcing the class to combine with another, larger class containing some pretty special people. Needless to say, a combination of there being no air conditioning and the professor being ridiculously dramatic (bellowing things like “KILL THE TEACHA!” when he made a mistake) resulted in some slow-building sass steadily percolating in me. Uh oh! Once he asked the class, “How do you create a Yes/No question in English?” I became slightly concerned that it would burst forth. But then when he mentioned “Fact-Finding Questions” and one college-aged student heard it as “Fuck-Finding” and just had to let everyone know through obnoxious, “embarrassed” laughter, I’m pretty sure my glares were somehow audible. Wait. That was probably just the exasperated sighing. Pocahontas really understands how I felt at that point. What? You want more Pocahontas? Alright, here you go.
Oh, and my Development Studies professor sounded out pornography. Yes. He moaned. It was probably the most shocking/amazing moment of the semester. I love moments when you aren’t sure whether to laugh or cringe, so you uncomfortably do both.
On Tuesday (after my Colonial Rule/African Response TA decided he didn’t feel like showing up), I was supposed to go to the market and practice bargaining in Twi. But, as Sweet Brown likes to say, “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That!”. So instead I turned Tuesday into a Mental Health Day (I clearly needed one). I read a lot and watched The Silver Linings Playbook, mailed to me by my father, known to most simply as Irwin. The movie is amazing. You should all see it when it’s released in November.
Some order has been restored at Beacon House now that there’s a full-time teacher again, one who’s actually qualified. She’s going back to the basics, drilling the kids with simple addition/subtraction so they don’t even have to think about what 3+5 or 9-6 is. I definitely understand the need to do this. The day I don’t see a couple of the kids struggle with 3+1 will be a beautiful day. I didn’t do much Thursday morning besides help Zilda “teach” some French. My contribution was teaching a few of the kids how to draw a star. I sympathized with them because when I was their age, I really struggled with that task. Take a look at this drawing of the solar system I made soon after my 7th birthday:
Thursday night I was subjected to most of Aquamarine, a magical movie starring a young Emma Roberts, JoJo, and Sara Paxton, this Reese Witherspoon-like girl but with creepy piranha teeth. JoJo wishes for a miracle that would save her from having to move to Australia (who would complain about that?), and the next morning she and Emma find a mermaid named Aquamarine (Sara) in a pool. A beautiful friendship is formed, and Aqua tells the girls that she has to prove that love exists within THREE DAYS (uhh..that’s definitely realistic) or she’ll be forced by her father to marry a merman. For whatever reason the girls become obsessed with this surfer/lifeguard, Raymond. The entire movie is basically JoJo/Emma stalking Aquamarine/Raymond as they “fall in love.” A lot of ridiculousness ensues. Here are some highlights:
- “Can you pick things up with them?”—Aqua, about her new feet
- When Aqua transforms into a human girl, she looks at her butt and says “Isn’t it cute?”
- Apparently, girls call boys and hang up on them to get their attention. Really? Is this true??
- “Everything we’ve learned about boys have come from the pages of these magazines!”—JoJo or Emma. They had about 100 magazines. Good Lord.
- “The laugh and pass”—casually walk past the boy you like while laughing.
- Raymond buys Aquamarine some cotton candy, and Aqua proceeds to rub it all over her face.
- “I don’t have earrings! How can I not have earrings?!”—Aqua. Uh…not a big deal, girlfriend.
- “Don’t you just LOVE love?”—Aqua
- “You guys look like the grandma brigade”—some bitch. Aqua spits her drink onto her in retaliation.
- When Aqua cries, she exclaims, “OH MY GOD! What’s happening to me?? I’m leaking!”
- Raymond and Aqua watch the fireworks separately, gazing longingly at them.
At this point the power mercifully went out, sparing
me us from the ending. I can only assume that Raymond eventually finds out that Aqua’s a mermaid, but decides that he loves her just the way she is. So romantic.
Friday morning began with helping Ben read a short story and answer some questions about it. The story was about this poor Ghanaian bus driver who gets made fun of by some asshole kids for driving slowly through the towns. At one point these soccer players are being carried across the street (not really sure why that was happening) as the bus approaches. The people carrying the soccer players fall in the middle of the road but because the driver was going so slowly, nobody was run over. Now everybody loved the driver. The end.
Before lunch I attempted to play this Uno/Dominos mash-up game with a few of the kids. I never played Dominos growing up, and the kids didn’t really understand the rules of either, so it was grand old shit show. But at least they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Before I left for lunch the kids were shown 3 music videos, and voted on the 2 that they wanted to learn choreography to. One song contains the lyrics “Jesus loves me, yes!” and the other contains “I am a soldier in the army of the Lord.” I really hope I get to be a part of this production. After I put on my sunglasses when I was leaving, one little
douche boy asked me if I was a girl. Cause apparently boys can’t wear sunglasses. I really thought my days of being asked that question were over, but I guess the accusation wasn’t too outrageous.
That afternoon I didn’t do much other than help with practice math questions I made for them. I really love how much a couple of them love to learn and ask me to give more problems. I tried getting Prince to write a number, but since he’s 2 (or 3…not really sure) he wrote more on the table than on the paper. Whatever. He’s the cutest so he gets away with everything. It was also around this time when one of the kids told me that my nose was sweating. Thanks, kid. Like I needed that reminder. I left at 6:30, and Mama Irene was surprised that I was leaving so early. The fact that 6:30 is considered an early time for me to leave is precisely why I need to keep leaving around that time.
These past few weeks some people have been saying things to me like “Where have you been?!” as if they actually care. I really just want to reply with this quote by Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope but I just smile and say, “Oh, ya know. Internship!” It’s true that I’m not around much during the week, and weekends for me are when I do most of my homework. So Friday night when I was asked to go to a bar, and after learning that the people going weren’t gross, I agreed to join. I had some nasty beer, then drank this decent cider beverage. We walked over to this other bar (which I guess means I bar hopped for the first time) where I had a $0.50 shot of some poison gin. This bar instantly became the greatest place in East Legon when we saw there was an air hockey table. I beat my fradversary Anil in the first game, probably due to a combination of his intoxication and shock that I was so aggressive. I might have been slightly tipsy myself because I couldn’t stop laughing and standing for long periods of time was becoming problematic. He beat me in a rematch 7-5. The bastard. All in all, it was a really fun night. Going to bars with people you don’t dislike isn’t so bad, I suppose. I’m secretly hoping to have a night that devolves into this:
I’m sure you can guess who I relate to the most.
This weekend has been spent researching Ghanaian media for a group presentation that I decided should finally be thought about, and studying for an upcoming Twi test. On Saturday I saw that I only had $5.00, and after going to about 8 ATMs on campus that weren’t working, I decided to spend that money on 25 hours of Wi-Fi rather than save it for food. Priorities. I found $0.15 that I used to go to the mall to use the ATMs there. After
running away from avoiding some begging children outside the mall, I was accosted by a man who asked me for “a favor” while I was at the ATM. As I was withdrawing $50.00 I glared at him and said, “I don’t have any money to give you!” and stormed away. I don’t know when I became so evil, but it was probably around the time that I ran out of fucks to give. I purchased a book, Beyond the Horizon, to read after I soon finish East of Eden. I was going to read The Hobbit next, but decided that I should probably read some African literature while I’m here. Also, wandering pathetically through supermarkets is something I really need to stop doing, but I walked away with some iced tea and these potato chips that I used to buy once a week when I was in Botswana. Nostalgic food purchases are the best kind of food purchases.
Alright, that’s all for this week! Apparently I write more during weeks when not much happens, which means this entire post is probably useless. Oh well. At least my father will enjoy it.
Have a wonderful week!
My roommate watched this magical movie called The Encounter on TV tonight and I thought I’d share the trailer for it. Spoiler Alert! The Encounter is with Jesus.
If that trailer peaked your interest, which I just can’t imagine not happening, the entire movie can be seen here! You’re welcome.