27 August 2012

from where i stand.

I have made it!  I am in Africa.  In Ghana.  In Cape Coast.  I landed in Accra at 11:30 the morning after I left, though it just felt like the continuation of a really long day as sleep didn't come easily on the plane.  Once we made it into the airport and approached the line for Customs, there were some officials who were checking our passports and yellow cards (these are certificates that prove you have received the Yellow Fever vaccination, which is necessary in order to enter the country.)  Right after they were approved and handed back, a man stepped up to Shannon (fellow Teach in Ghana-er) and I, took our passports, and told us to follow him.  We did as told until we looked back and saw Ousmane (other TiG-er) was still getting his documents checked.  I explained to the man that we were a group and we were going to stick together, but he seemed eager and impatient to keep moving forward.  It was at that moment I saw an error in my compliance.  I don't know why I thought it was okay to give the only documents proving who I was and that I was allowed to be there to a man without a badge and whose name I didn't know.  When that realization smacked me on the back of the head, I quickly took our passports back, said thank you but no thank you, and lead the way back to Ousmane.  As I observed the man later, it turned out he was just trying to assist travelers through the system and with their baggage in exchange for "something for my hat," so it definitely could have been worse.

After about an hour and a half, we made it through customs, found our baggage, and made our way to Kofi who is the assistant to our in-country coordinator, Kwesi.  On the approximately 3.5 hour drive from Accra to Cape Coast, I couldn't help but nod off time & again.  I wanted to keep my eyes peeled in order to take in everything I could, but those few choppy hours of sleep on the plane just were not having it.

So far I'm feeling a little bit like I don't have a purpose.  Also, a little helpless.  I know everyone around can most likely speak English, but it seems they prefer to speak either Fante or Twi.  Because of this, I can't understand anyone unless they mean for me to understand.  Hopefully soon that will change.  We had our first Fante lesson today, so to those following my journey, I'd like to say: Me daase! (May dahh-say!)  Which means thank you.  And I mean it.

I'd like to share a passage from a book I chose to read during this adventure.  The book is called Love Does and it's written by Bob Goff.  If you read A Million Miles in A Thousand Years by Donald Miller, you heard about Bob and it probably made you want to learn more.  I'm finding these words influential and encouraging, and I hope you do, too.

"Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget.  Their dreams become one of those 'we'll go there next time' deferrals.  The sad thing is, for many there is no 'next time' because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision.  They need a change of attitude, not more opportunities."

1 comment:

  1. Mo' pictures! OK, I'll give you a minute.