May 02, 2011

First days in Ghana

We are now living in Accra, Ghana.  It is a city that reminds me a lot of Kingston, Jamaica where i have visited several times.  The trees and plants are abundant and full of color.  The people sell all kinds of goods everywhere, even along neighborhood streets off the main roads.  Buildings all over are in various stages of being developed or upgraded.  The colors of red, gold and green are painted on most wooden structures that are selling goods.  The smell of burning trash may be sensed in any location.  Reggae music is often heard out and about.  And finally, there is the all-embracing heat that makes someone like me, who usually moves about quickly, come to almost a full stop and really slow down like the locals.

After 2 days of living here and driving around, we've seen many new and interesting sites.  Upon leaving the airport i noticed a little eatery that had a big sketching of Malcolm X up on the wall.  I thought that was a cool sign of the people's awareness of a freedom fighter that isn't recognized as much as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the U.S.  What is most interesting to us is observing how each house that is of a certain economic class hires a guard to sit outside the property's wall to protect it against the threat of crime.  We have read and heard over and over again that crime is not an issue in this country.  Yet the perception is that having a guy sit outside will prevent crime from happening.  The guards are not part of a company; they don't wear a uniform or carry a weapon.  We've seen them lying down on benches and saw one getting his hair cut.  They work long shifts and have nothing to do except open the gate for cars of the residence.  I personally feel there is no need to have a guard (though i like the idea of not having to get out of the car to push open a big gate).  The argument is always that it provides a job for someone.  I just feel so bad for these guys sitting outside all day or night (depending on the shift) without anything else to do to occupy their minds or time.

 This photo depicts one of the many, many markets that adorn the city.  We are in search of some djembe drums!  We plan on buying at least 5 of them, just enough for each one of us to play, as well as to have for a rhythmic drumming circle that we'll inevitably experience in the months to come.  Apparently they are very inexpensive, quite a difference to how much one has to pay in South Africa.

This is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.  We are wholeheartedly focused on community service through Baha'i-inspired activities.  We look forward to this never-ending life experience of learning and growing spiritually while serving the people of Ghana.

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