Posts Tagged With: verge magazine

Tearful Goodbyes

This morning, I greeted the woman who comes into my compound to sell bread and teared up at the thought that there will be no woman with a basket of bread on top of her head coming to my door in Canada (If you know where I can sign up for such a service, please let me know).  My days in Ghana are numbered and I’m a bit of a mess.  In general I’m in denial about leaving on Friday; I don’t want to think about it, but I kind of have to. For the past few weeks, every time I walk down my street and stop to talk to my neighbours I feel such sadness at having to leave them.  If you know me, you know that whenever I travel, I get attached.  Some people are attached to things, I get attached to places and people with beautiful spirits.

For all the things that drive me nuts about Ghana, Ghanaians are making this goodbye very difficult.  On my way to work, I stopped to buy waakye for breakfast and a man at the street stall recognized me from my morning jogs: “You’re the woman who runs every morning, I see you and I’m the one always here waving you on.  One morning I will come run with you small”. When I told him that I’m leaving on Friday, without hesitation he said that he would host a going away party for me tomorrow.  Then my taxi driver, who is an usher at his church, pulled out two wedding invitations and extended invites to me.

And that has been my experience with Ghanaians, so welcoming.  I don’t know if the impromptu going away party will happen, but the offer really touched me.  The same way that my co-workers’ plans for a big send-off party on Friday before my flight is incredibly touching.  Though I shouldn’t be surprised at either offer – Ghanaians love a good party.

I will write another post about reflections on leaving soon, but in the meantime, I think I have some explaining to do for not posting more often. I can only blame so much on the load shedding and lack of electricity.  Here is what I have been up to while neglecting my blog for the past few weeks (months?):

  • Still blogging! In addition to writing for Verge Magazine, I’ve started a new blogging gig for Girls’ Globe, a website dedicated to advocating for the rights of Women and Girls around the world.  I’m super excited about it and I will continue to write for them when I’m home. If you’re on Twitter, follow us @girlsglobe and like the page on facebook: facebook.com/girlsglobe.  Click here to see my profile on the website, and here to read my first post.
  • I’ve made a couple of videos since I’ve been here. Go to my YouTube channel! One is connected to my post for Girls’ Globe and the other is of two Ghanaian youth talking about what a typical day is like for them.  Quite different from how most North American teens spend their days.
  • Finishing up my work for the YMCA. I’ve accepted that this isn’t going to happen while I’m here. Things have just started really moving forward on my project in the last few weeks.  There is so much I want to get done and not enough time, so I’ve decided that some things (like a gender mainstreaming manual I’m working on) I will finish back in Canada.  Since I don’t have a job lined up, I will have the time to properly tie up loose ends.
  • On that note – I’m looking for a job! Hire me. Please. I’m fabulous; I promise 🙂 Seriously, I have been job hunting, which is a job in and of itself.  I’m hoping that my next project/adventure is just around the corner.
  • Lastly, I’ve been enjoying my time in Ghana. Seeing as much as I can, attending weddings and funerals and getting my fill of trotro rides.  I also had a photographer friend take some pictures for me to remember my time in Ghana by. Check out some of them here.

Though I’m leaving Ghana, my blog isn’t going to die just yet.  I still have a lot to write about my time here and have a few unfinished posts that I started and will post when I’m at home.

With Mexico, the former YMCA Technical School principal, just before heading to the wedding of one of the YMCA members

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Where did May go?

I was on an unintentional blog hiatus – really, I just got busy and didn’t get around to new posts.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  What was I busy with you ask? Well…

Working on collecting those passport stamps

I spent an extended weekend in the neighbouring country of Togo.  The trip was supposed to be to Togo and Benin, but when I my fiend Julianne and I arrived at the Beninese border, we were refused visas.  The immigration agent was obviously not in a good mood and had us escorted out of the country – the ultimate walk of shame.  But on the bright side, we were able to spend more time in Togo, which is beautiful.  If you’re interested in my pictures from the trip, you can see them here.

Overheard while passing through customs on the way back to Ghana: “Oh, you’re with the white man”

The customs agents stopped me to check my bag so I called out to Julianne, who was a few steps ahead of me, to let her know.  All of a sudden they changed their minds and I was being waived through without being checked.  Lesson of the day, always cross the border into Ghana with a white person. In the words of my good friend Fayola “My people, my people”.

New bogging gig

I am now a guest Blogger for Verge magazine!  Verge is an online publication for people interested in traveling and volunteering abroad.  I will be writing about what it’s like to live and intern in Ghana, while offering tips for people interested in working or living abroad.  My posts will appear twice a month and will be different from what I write about here.  Click here to read my first post about what it’s like being constantly mistaken for a Ghanaian person. And bookmark my profile page to check back for new posts.

Learning Twi!

I’ve been picking up bits and pieces of the language since I’ve been here, but I have decided that it’s time to put some real effort into learning.  Besides, if I’m going to look Ghanaian, I might as well speak one of the local languages.

My study aid

I’m going to need a local person to help me with these pronunciations

 

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