Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Halfway There

This past Sunday marked the end of week 9 in our 18 week program, meaning I am officially halfway done, and tomorrow (March 18th) means I have only two months left in Ghana, holey moley! It's weird to think that I'm already halfway done ad will be home so soon. The first month flew by, but now that I am getting used to things, time doesn't seem to go fly by quite as much. What I have figured out is that the days tend to go slowly, but the weeks fly by, making time pass pretty quickly.

There are only 5 weeks of classes left (counting this week), and then there is a Revision Week, and then 3 weeks of finals, and then I'm done! Just like that! During the 3 weeks of finals I have lots of plans for traveling (Togo, Burkina Faso, Northern Region of Ghana) so I know that it is going to go by super quickly. And when I plan the rest of my time out here weekend by weekend to figure out what trips I want to go, it feels like I have no time left here at all! I'm excited for traveling and seeing new parts of Ghana, as well as adding new countries in to my passport!

I can tell that I am getting more used to things and that ways of life are making more sense to me as time goes on. Riding the tros seems so much easier. I know what ones go where and the general cost of getting there so that I don't get ripped off. I can go to a market, look around for what I want, or just look around in general, and not get bothered by the vendors constantly calling to me. I know camps so much better. How to get to the bank, to the CIEE office, to Akuafo Hall with it's places to eat. Getting by as a whole isn't as much of a challenge any more either and I'm just more comfortable with how to do things. It's really nice. And last night I successfully made made sandwiches, having purchased all of the ingredients on my own and from different places around campus, I am very proud of myself! (Also, for those of you at home, I got a huge avocado for 50 pesewas (about 45 cents) that was delcioius! Not something you're going to find at Cub or Rainbow.)

There are many small annoyances that still get to me, but all of it will be bearable for just 2 more months. Taxi's honk non-stop here. And when waiting for a tro-tro, the taxis will pull up and bother us and ask us where we're going for a good minute before realizing that we will not be riding with them. Also, people hiss here to get your attention. So when walking around the city, if someone wants to sell you something or ask you for money, they will hiss. It is not something I enjoy. I know that many of the things that bother me are just a matter of cultural differences, so I am trying to stay patient and understanding, but man oh man, it sure will make me appreciate a lot of things one I am back home.

My mom told me the other day that I really am having an abroad experience, and it's really true. There is nothing that I do here that is the same as at home. Which is good, I mean, I know I am gaining an amazing perspective on life because of it, and the sociologist in me especially loves seeing all the differences. Seeing elephants, having it assumed that I am rich because I'm white, having Ghanaians grin when I asked for more shitto (a spicy pepper sauce), making tro-tro mates laugh when I say meda ase (thank you in Twi) as I hop off, and everything else that happens in my random daily adventures, make me so happy that I am here and having this experience. Don't worry though, I will still be happy to see all of you when I am home! :)


h. irene j. said...

I am glad to hear that you are embracing your time aboard so fiercely. I know what you mean about public-transportation-mates. I once was on a marshrutka (speedy van) where you have to shout out where you want to stop. So I did, but I was in the back and my nervous Russian wasn't very good, so a fellow rider restated my request to the driver. Ech. I did not care for marshrutkas.

Jamie said...

seconded. you're really living this semester up to fullest. go you. you're gonna have such great stories when you get home, i can't wait. and i'm so jealous of the avocado by the way... :P