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.

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Closing Week 3.

I can hardly believe I’ve been here for three weeks, I expected it to go by quickly, but this seems absurd. Leaving in 2.5 weeks! While I’m looking forward to such comforts as a reliable car, internet, AC, etc, I’m in no way ready to go back. Then again, I’m never really ready to go home. If it were up to me and money wasn’t a factor I’m pretty sure I’d become a professional nomad. Going home is always hard, in part because I never feel that calm in the US, and even through all of the hectic ventures I feel more comfortable here than in LA. And it’s not just Ghana, it seems to be anywhere that isn’t “here,” traveling is very much my greatest passion.But also, I know I’ll adjust back to “life as usual”-and I hate that. I hate when I get caught up in ridiculous things that don’t matter, when months slip by, but nothing has happened.

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The Gift of an Uneventful Day

The past day or so has been pleasantly, uneventful. After a a hectic weekend, the slow pace has been a welcome change.

Yesterday, the day was spent at the University, mostly in meetings. In the computer lab, Sheban, Jame’s graduate student found me and informed me we had a meeting (of which, I had just learned). He led me to the graduate student’s conference room, and long, narrow dim-lit room with a white-board in front. He handed me a marker and requested I went over Elisas with him. He sat down expectantly. I did my best, I’ve never been a strong teacher, but he seemed to understand, and I was able to field his questions adequately. We spent the next hour talking, I learned where he had gone to University (Cape Coast), and that at 28, he was finishing his master’s program. This is very common, many people work for several years before attending university to save up money. Public education costs about $1,000 USD a year for room and board, average incomes range from $1,000/yr-$3,000/yr. The government officials of course pull in six-figures.

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