Our blogging has been a bit sparse lately. Some of this is due to traveling and the pace picking up here. August and September have flown. Another part, I think, is that Chris and I are having a difficult time processing this experience with the constraints inherent in blogging. It feels so big sometimes and words can be difficult to find. We will keep trying in small ways though. I think today we will write about our top three favorite and least favorite things about life here. We have lived in our home in the Upper East for 5 months now and have been in Ghana for almost 8.
1. The slower pace of life
2. Meaningful, self- directed work
3. Our community kiddos
1. People know how to do more with less
2. Not living life by a time-clock
3. The food is all locally grown- Ghana has America beat on the farm to table movement
K’s Least Favorite:
1. Cultural differences- like music blaring all night is considered nbd, it’s not rude to wake people up at six am by banging on their door until they answer, people in bigger cities constantly try to overcharge us for things because they see white skin and think it means rich, inequality among men and women, the way animals are treated, etc.
2. The suffocating heat (it’s not even hot season and I still sweat constantly. Helpp)
3. Food insecurity- this is a huge challenge for the people in our region and Chris and I experience it some. In dry season especially market has limited food choices. Sometimes the only vegetables are onions. Food availability is greatly determined by the weather, and global warming is not helping. Even this year the rains were supposed to start in May, but didn’t come until the end of July. People missed almost an entire growing season (three months to harvest).
C’s Least Favorite:
1. Same cultural differences as listed above
2. Lack of privacy, personal space
3. Lack of acceptance for individuality
So as with everything there are roses and thorns. Life is in fact more challenging here than we imagined. It’s interesting to us that things we thought would be hard (lack of electricity, running water, critters, etc) are actually not the things we find challenging. What we find challenging are things like the cultural differences listed above, how we are treated as foreigners (SO much attention, both good and bad), and the not so pretty side of development work. Mainly things we didn’t think too much about before coming.
We are both really thankful to have each other here on the good days, but especially on the bad ones. Chris helps me remember the importance of continuing to do good work even when I want to quit, to continue seeing the beauty of life here even when I’m feeling spent, and to continue seeing the light in people I’d rather just be done with. I try to do the same for him. We don’t win at this every day, but we try most of the time. There have been many lessons already and many to come. We both really want to be the “change we wish to see” in the world- gracious people with open hearts who can go through any situation and still see the beauty in life, who love people and want to make the world a kinder, more just place. Thanks to Ghana’s intense wonderfulness and intense woes for helping us along the way.
We love and miss everyone,