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Published: February 16th 2011
My beautiful mosquito net canopy and my roommate's bowl of plastic fruits...
I'm starting to settle in here, and in a warped sort of way it seems as if I've been living in Legon a very long time. I can get anywhere on campus with no problem, have pretty much figured out Accra's public transportation system, and have created a more balanced diet for myself after finding a conveniently located vegetable stand. I don't get heat rash every day anymore and I have an appetite in the middle of the day even when it is super hot. Human bodies are amazingly adaptable.
Classes have started, but they haven't really gotten serious yet. My favorite by far is my African Dance class, which is so much fun. The TAs in that class know who I am even though I am one of like 60 white kids in the class. I'm not sure if I stand out because I'm so bad at dancing, because I'm enthusiastic, or because of my curly hair, but whatever the case, it is nice to see them around campus and be able to interact with them.
I'm starting to make some real Ghanaian friends, which is exciting. I haven't really made any friends here who are Ghanaian girls,
however--they aren't generally excited about interacting with obruni (white) girls. I think they see us as competition. And to a certain extent, I don't blame them; we get so much attention from Ghanaian men that it gets to be obnoxious. Anyway, I'm working on befriending a couple of girls in my classes that I think have the potential to actually want to be around me.
Since classes aren't too serious, I have been doing a lot of fun things. I've been to Labadi beach a couple of times, which is in many ways the opposite of Bojo--crowded and noisy, with acrobats performing impressive feats and people riding up and down the beach on rented horses. It is great for people-watching.
I've also spent some time at the various markets in Accra. These are always overwhelming, but fun. I bought some fabric the other day to get made into clothes, but other than that I've been trying to hold off from buying too much--I feel like once I start buying, for example, beautiful wood carvings, I will have a hard time stopping.
Speaking of wood carving, I am probably going to learn how to make drums from a
Not a beach that I've actually gone swimming at... It is super polluted and right by a slum. But beautiful! The area here is called Jamestown.
master drum maker who is also the Creative Director of the National Dance Company in Ghana. He also happens to be one of my friend's uncles. I really hope it ends up working out.
I went to the grand finale of the Africa Heritage Reality TV Show on Saturday night, which was a lot of fun. I got to see couples dance and perform folk music, and one of the TAs in my dance class at school actually won the competition. The guy who is going to (probably) teach me how to carve drums was one of the judges. And my dance professor was a guest of honor. I am sort of hilariously rubbing elbows with the "in crowd" of the dance community here. Who would have thought.
In the vein of performing arts, I am going to be in a play! They needed "international" (read: white) kids, and I thought, what better way of making outgoing, hilarious friends than being in a play? So I'm going to be a creepy ghost dancer, salsaing through a scene. I won't have any lines but that's for the best. I also don't know how to salsa, but they've promised to
The couple who won the competition--check out the costumes!
teach me. I think they had to be pretty desperate for internationals to ask me to be in it.
In other news, we've started a weekly tradition of Guacomole night which is the best thing ever. The food here is good but not that varied and Guac night is a great way to address that and create a social event at the same time. We make a ton of guacamole and then eat it with plantain chips--YUM!
I hope that you all are having a great time in your various locales, and if it isn't warm there I'll gladly share today's heat with you--I've been sweating all over the place.
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