24 Sept 2010 – Travel fatigue

At last all the traveling is getting to me. I have lost my optimist’s glasses. I can only see the bad stuff of the last two days. I only slept about four hours on the plane. I left 30 GHC in the ATM at the airport and when I remembered and went back it was not there. When leaving the airport I asked a man where I could get a taxi to OSU. He said this way and then led me to at tro tro and tried to get me to pay 17 cedis to take the whole tro myself.

At the hotel with the Peace Corps bunkroom, The Swiss Rest, there was no room in the inn. My name was not on the list for the bunkroom even though I asked my APCD to put it on and then emailed again to remind her. I called Safety and Security and he suggested I travel to my site that day after I had been on a plane all night and didn’t even really know how to get to my site. I was too tired to even remember that the Salvation Army offers a bed for 6 cedis so I decided to stay and pay the 35 cedis for a private room.

The next morning when I checked the bunkroom sign in sheet not everybody on the list came to sleep at the Swiss Rest, so I could have had a bed for nothing. Since I was going to have to pay 35 cedis a night, I still wasn’t up to arguing with someone about the bunkroom, I decided to go to site. And the conversation with Safety and Security made me feel like admin wanted me at site soon. The taxi driver was helping me with my bags at the station when another man came along. Even though I told him I didn’t need help I was set he kept bugging me and pulling at my bags and trying to direct me. Even as my tro tro drove out of the station he was complaining that I hadn’t given him any money for helping me with my bags. aaaaaaauuuuuuuuugggggghhhhh!

Then some how I ended up on the wrong road of the two roads that would take me to my site. The wrong road was 2.5 hours of construction in a vehicle with no shocks. It could have possibly been the worst ride I have even taken in my two years here.

When I got to site, of course, my stuff was still in Tamale. I texted with Kimmie she thought it might not get down to my site till the end of October. Then when the electricity went on for the evening, so did the light in my bedroom. When I wanted to go to bed the light switch would not turn off the light. I asked the accountant, who lives in the room next door, where the switch was for my light.  He did what I did and then said the obvious that it was broken. He would fix it tomorrow. (I didn’t wait for them to fix the light. The very next day when the bulb was cool I removed it and haven’t had an overhead light since.)

The light stayed on until 10:00 pm, by then I had gotten my second wind and could not go to sleep until 2:00 am. I was sleeping paa paa when the girls came at 6:30 am to sweep the floors. Naturally sweeping the floor involves dragging fours chairs across the floor TWICE!

I am sitting on the porch hoping that by writing all the garbage it will get out of my system. Also there is a wonderful view of rain forest and mountains, I have a cup of tea maybe I can look back over the past two days for the good bits and get my optimist’s glasses back on.

On the plane I watched two very good movies. One with no actors I recognized, except Vanessa Redgrave or one of the Redgrave sisters, called “Letters to Juliet”. It was a cute romantic comedy. The other starred Annette Benning and Jimmy Smitz. I forgot the title but what impressed me was that Annette Benning played a physically and emotionally unattractive woman. It was an awesome drama about adoption.

The two flight attendants in my section were friendly and helpful. In the morning when I woke up my breakfast was on the tray next to me. I also had the center three seats all to myself so I could stretch out to sleep or read.

At the airport a kind man helped me haul my bags off the baggage belt.

The owner of the Swiss Rest was in the lobby as I talked to Peace Corps. She probably saw my mood clouding my face over like a thunderstorm clouds over the sky. When I got off the phone she was sympathetic and kind and gave me a cold mineral. Then she sent me to bed with a hug.

After an hour nap I went to Melting Moments for pasta, chicken, mushrooms and a green salad. (Delicious) The TV was on and I saw an actress from 90210 I texted Liz and told her the 90210 was on here in Ghana. After watching more closely, that actress was the only 90210 actress and it was a totally different show but I still pretended it was 90210. It was easy because, thankfully, the sound was muted on the TV.

After dinner I called Pastor Victor. He was so warm and welcoming. He asked me if he could come to Accra to pick me up. I politely declined his kind offer and asked the best way to get to Trotor.

That night, I had a great nights sleep. I slept until 10:00 am.

I got an air conditioned Tro tro for my ride to Kof(oriduia). We left at noon.  At 2:00 pm we entered a town. I just happened to read it sign it said SUHUM! That’s 15 minutes from Trotor. I’ll drop here.

On the taxi ride from Suhum to the school, BASCO, in Trotor the taxi driver introduced me to AICKO! (You have done well) Me fi America (I am from America) and the word for children but I have forgotten it.

Pastor Victor gave me a warm welcome. He took me into Suhum for a few things and for Fufu with palm nut soup (abenquine). During lunch we talked about what I will do. Pastor seems open to me teaching the teachers but I will also meet with Frank, the headmaster. I was sorry to hear sister Deborah has left to return to school. I would have preferred to deal with a female.

This morning I am sitting on my porch. There is a small breeze. The sky is overcast and three students are sitting here with me. The jungle is held back by a 30 foot wide patch of great. Yes GRASS in Ghana. Right across from my seat, I see a plantain palm. It looks pretty bad, fifty percent of the leaves are brown and hanging down and a few more are half brown and wilted. If I choose to look at those brown leaves I would think the tree was dead but I can also see broad, crisp green leave and new fruit coming. It’s all depends on my perspective.

 

-vc

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