I had such a great time Saturday night. Michael (old housemate) took me out with his friends and we ended up going to a few different places. The first place we went to was the Hush Bar & Lounge in Osu where they were having an event called Love Out Loud. They had local artists performing the spoken word, rapping, and doing acoustic sets; it was really great. The bar itself was very nice, chill, and had cool art all over the walls. Before we left we had a little photo shoot in the parking lot – not really sure why. Then we headed to a place called Epo’s, still in Osu – it was basically this huge outdoor/indoor bar with a projector that showed football matches, cheap drinks, and a lot of food stands outside. It was a cool place and I’ll definitely go back, but it wasn’t hoppin so we headed to Vienna City, which was like a bar/night club by Nkrumah Circle. We didn’t end up going inside because the cover charge for guys was something like 10 cedi and it was 2am already – not worth it. We just kinda hung about outside for a bit and chatted then headed back.
Lunca (sp?) was driving (sober – hadn’t been drinking all night) and as we were heading back we had to pull over because the car was overheating. While we were asking a guy who lived around there for some water, Jerry and Ebenezer wandered off to go chat with some prostitutes. The streets of Accra are littered with prostitutes, especially on the weekends. There are some on EVERY street corner and at least six at a roundabout. Once we got the car fixed we realized Jerry and Ebenezer were nowhere to be found, though they couldn’t be far. We went looking for them and found them talking to another group of prostitutes. We ended up all getting out and chatting with them for quite some time. They were very nice, very interesting, and very open about talking about their work. They spoke about how they deal with cops too, which was interesting to hear about. I got back to my room at 4am – it was a solid night!
Tuesday night I was bumming around talking to some people when Jameson invited me to go with him and some people to his friend Moses’ house. Moses is Israeli and connected with Evelyn (another international student) because apparently, Jewish people find each other wherever they may be in the world. He is staying (and working) with a friend here in Accra, very close to the university (in a big, beautiful home). He had dinner waiting for the five of us when we arrived – it was delicious and probably would have been more delicious had I not already eaten. I had the best time at his house. We just talked and talked, mostly about love because it was Valentine’s Day and Moses was determined to keep us on topic. It was nice to have an interesting conversation with interesting people. Especially nice to have a conversation that did not revolve around where everyone is from, the school they go to, what they are studying, and what food they miss the most from home. I am really tired of those conversations. After dinner we went upstairs and did a little ballroom dancing and salsa. Becca was teaching us – it was fun, but I have absolutely no rhythm, whatsoever. Ah, well.
BEACH DAY! Accra beaches, as I mentioned in previous posts, are nice but littered with garbage, which is pretty unpleasant. Today, a group of about 9 of us went to Kokrobite, a town west of Accra that has beautiful beaches. We took a trotro from Apongo Junction to Nkrumah Circle, from Circle to Keneshie, and from Keneshie to Kokrobite. Travel time was about 1.5-2 hours, but it wasn’t too bad. We parked it on the beach for a few hours and went swimming, read, and chatted.
I went for a long walk which was nice; I passed men pulling in fish and children playing on fishing boats on the shore. As I was walking I strolled right into a dumping area on the beach, a place where people dump their trash…and go poop. It was really gross – there was little piles of shit everywhere and as I approached there was a woman finishing up her business – yuck. It’s unfortunate that people have to resort to this because either they don’t have the facilities, they can’t afford to pay to use facilities if they do exist, or they aren’t educated enough to know health implications of not using proper sanitation facilities. One of my professors called the open defecation here in Ghana “democratic shitting” – haha.
When I came back from my walk other people had gone off on walks or swimming and Brendan was the only one behind watching our stuff. A group of four little girls approached us, the oldest of which must have been no older than six or seven. Their names were Harriet, Jessica, Ana, and Manuella. They were absolutely adorable. I chatted with them and we played; they buried my feet and legs and we made monkey and fish faces. Manuella was the absolute cutest – we were making faces at each other and she put her forehead against mine – it was the sweetest thing! Brendan exclaimed how cute it was and got out his camera, but in Ghana, when you break out a camera everyone wants to be in it and pose for it..so all the other girls jumped in the way and then we ended up having a pile on Avery (or Ama, as they called me) for the camera, haha. When everyone got back we did a little dancing, spinning, and laughing, then we had to leave them and go get lunch.
For lunch, everyone went to this nice Italian restaurant that had pizza, pasta, and other similar dishes. I went and looked, but decided against paying 18 cedi for one meal and instead went and got a three cedi Ghanaian dish and ate with some other international students we met at the beach who live in the other international dorm, ISH 2. That afternoon, the girls and I went and bought some cloths and I got these SWEET pants for 4 cedi – I’m very excited about them.
We sat on the beach a bit longer after shopping then decided to call it a day because the sun had really drained us. I was the only one who didn’t get a sunburn. Overall, great day. I was falling asleep on the last trotro because I was so wiped. I had stayed up until two AM to hear Elliott and his band The Raven & The Wool (www.facebook.com/theravenandthewool) play live on the radio – they were great!
Today I went to work to use the internet all day. I am trying to finish up my grad school applications. So far I have been accepted to two schools, Coventry University and Northumbria University. I will find out next month if I got into NOHA – Masters in Humanitarian Action. Right now, I am trying to finish up my applications to Oxford Brookes University, Fordham University, and Copenhagen University. I am hoping to have them in by the end of the week – I just want to be done with them already!
Here are some pictures of what my room looks like now – my roommate and I changed it around and I like it much better this way:
That’s all for now –
Title quote: Blind Pilot