First off, words fail to express my annoyance that the only thing I managed to forget on this trip is the cord to my camera for downloading pictures. Yesterday was spent traveling through the interior of Ghana, with a trip to Koforidua and finally Kumasi. The Ghanaian countryside is positively breathtaking, but since I cant download the best of my pictures, you’re going to have to take my word for it. I hate to even offer an example as it won’t do this country justice, but I will anyway. Here you go.
One of the challenges of this trip has been how to write about all I am seeing, and frankly I don’t know that I’ve struck the right tone in my work so far. Yes, Ghana faces some very sobering hurdles as it continues to develop, but frankly, as I’ve settled and especially as I’ve developed a comfort to the rhythms of the country, I’m finding more common ground with the challenges America and Americans face. Maybe that isn’t much of a revelation and maybe that is simply more a reflection of how biased my understanding of Africa is. I don’t think I’ll know for a while. But I can say for certain that if Ghana loses ground it will largely be the fault of the international community.
I hate to even say that because I don’t want to for a second suggest that Ghana needs the rest of the world to save it. It doesn’t. But a legacy of resource exploitation, both human and natural, also can’t be denied. So it’s complicated.
Perhaps the greatest gift I’ve had so far is the opportunity to connect with Nana and his assistant Daniel. Their ability to fill in the gaps, to offer perspective and some companionship on this trip has deepened my sense that in this crazy world we really are all more alike than not.
In the coming posts I’ll tell you about my visit to a Ghanaian village where I learned that humans everywhere will organize into essentially the same political structures to govern their communities, the amazing women leading the public health efforts on the ground, and how I might have made some Catholics a little uncomfortable with some questions concerning condom distribution programs. Each day has given me a novel’s worth of plot so, fortunately or unfortunately, you’ll be hearing me talk about Ghana for a LONG time.
I leave to come home on Saturday and hope to have a couple of more posts up in the meantime. Till then, be good to each other folks, strangers or no.