A Strange Day

The sky was strange this morning. Directly above, clear skies. Yet ominous clouds threatening rain circumscribed the brilliant blue above me. The air was unusually stagnant, the soft omnipresent breeze that normally provides relief to the staggering heat-humidity was gone.  Even when I woke this morning, something felt off, yet I couldn’t place what. I wandered the 50 meters from the guesthouse to main farm office. The normal murmur of activity was missing, aside from muffled sounds of sheep running through the fields; hardly anyone seemed to be around. I sat on the bench in front of the main office waiting for the trotro to arrive, watching ants meander back and forth on the pavement in front of me. The trotro, which arrives every hour, appeared in the distance, but it wasn’t slowing down. The driver stuck out his hand waving back and forth, signaling it was full, I would have to wait. I slid back into my seat, ready to wait out yet another hour when a car pulled up with someone who worked on the farm offering to take me to the next junction, where I could grab a trotro to Madina station, and then onto the University. His timing was perfect, relieved, we set off.

Once at Madina, I crossed through the tight alleys that make up the market, crammed with people, selling just about anything you could possibly think of. As I approached the tros that would, in theory, take me where I needed I heard a young boy, maybe twelve yelling “leeegooon-la passssssse,” suggesting his tro would be going to Legon (University) then onto somewhere else, “Lapasse.” I got on, and while it filled watched the boy, whose face was unusually long and much too old for the rest of his body, wondering if he had dropped out of school to do this.  It was hot. The sun shining directly on the van, and a lack of air made me lethargic, I still felt strange, almost as if I was observing everything from a distance, but not participating. I think it was sun, as soon as I stepped into the air conditioned computer lab, I felt nearly normal again. Apparently, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the sun in full-force. It is blinding, and creates an ethereal haze, apparently abstracting me from reality. I’m still a bit dazed, and hope I haven’t come down with anything, though my symptoms are likely more suggestive of something substance-related more than medically so.

The past two days have been generally, uneventful, with nothing of great interest to report. Unless you count discovering that the University had a laundry service, and for about $5 I could have everything washed, dried, ironed, and picked up a few hours later. This is what excites me.  The student I’m supposed to spend time with in the lab is arriving today. We’ll meet, and discuss plans for the next week and a half. She is arriving, along with the rest of the students which now fill the campus. I sort of miss the calm of the sleepy summer campus, this one is far more hectic. Not to mention, there are foreigners everywhere, milling around in groups of about ten to fifteen,  I’m curious what they are doing here, but they aren’t particularly inviting and tend to keep within their groups, as if venturing out might be disastrous. Mostly, the increase in students makes procuring a computer more of a challenge (though clearly, today I was successful).

I’m fairly certain that eventually, I’ll run out of things to say on a daily basis. Or reports would turn into a collection of random statements like “today, I saw a monkey wandering around campus (true), it was odd.” Though, I hope I don’t; writing has become something of a cathartic daily ritual that I feel I almost “need.” I don’t know when writing changed from an obligated act associated with academia to an enjoyable pastime, especially since as a teenager I didn’t enjoy writing and wasn’t particularly good at it. But now I crave it, as if I don’t, my head will continue to fill with thoughts and observations until I’m dizzy with facts with nowhere to put them.


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