Mall Date

Feeling a bit like teenagers, Alex and I spent yesterday at the mall for a “lunch-and-movie” date. We saw Captain America, in the theaters that could have been anywhere in the world. It was a bit of a novelty, in part because we almost never go to movies in the US. At lunch, we watched the youth of the Accra elite wander around in their extremely western clothes, i-phones, and speaking exclusively in English. Most people alternate between Twi and English (often in the same sentence) and it seems that the ratio of Twi:English has a linear relationship to wealth. And like most developing countries there is a large income gap, though there is an emerging middle class. Apparently, luxuries like cars and many electronics cost about double what they would in the US (due to import regulations), so having a BMW is quite a statement regarding your wealth. For example, an i-pad here costs $1400 USD, a Honda CRV around $56K.

While neither of us are particularly home-sick the deception of exiting the movie theater, feeling as if we were no longer in Africa was actually a bit jarring. Instantly, you remember there’s still a tro ride ahead of you, and the probability of something happening is high. It is, always, an adventure.
I have less than a week at work, and admittedly, my mind is wandering a bit-mostly towards next week’s travel to Mole national park and the coast.
Today, we’re running PCR on the DNA extraction from Friday. The grad student I’m working with-Princess (though everyone calls her Prince), is just back from an internship in Japan. Barely over five feet, she’s shy and petite, with strong angular features, without severity; she is strikingly beautiful. With long wavy hair that she is constantly sweeping back as she laughs, which seems to come from her entire body. It’s quite infectious, making everyone around her at ease, it would be difficult to be anything but happy around her.
I do find it interesting how caring these women are, and while I’m sure it happens, the passive-aggressive and competitive nature of many women I know doesn’t seem very present. I have long preferred male friends, given I feel much more at ease with them, and the girls I tend to be friends with are similar. But not here. All of the women I’ve gotten to know are exceptionally kind, compassionate, and full of joy. Hopefully, a bit of it rubs off.
Our work finishes up tomorrow, and I’m not sure what my plans are past that. The University is in full swing and everyone is ridiculously busy making getting a hold of anyone significantly more difficult. Though, I don’t mind the down time!


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