18 October 2010 – My Room

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My 10 by 10 room is painted pale yellow with a white ceiling. It has two double windows, one set on the west wall and the other set on the south wall. They are the typical glass louver windows we have here in Ghana.  I have reused my old curtains on three of the windows and put a shawl on the other. Mix and match in Ghana.

There is one twin bed, a desk and a chair, a folding table and a set of bunk beds. The bed is beside the window on the west wall and the cool air from the window floats on my feet at night. When it is really hot in the room I lay my head at the bottom of the bed to catch the cool air. The bed has three American pillows that I carried from the US in vacuum bags. The sheets came from Target and are covered with purple, pink, teal and mauve flowers on a white background. One pillowcase matches the sheets and the other two have white pillowcases with delicate flowers embroidered on the open end and three rows of tatting. My mattress is three inches thick. I have put a student mattress under it and two Ghana pillows placed strategically under my butt to keep it from dropping through the slats.

Above my bed are two abstract paintings from Ghana. They are on 6×18 black poster board painted with red, blue, yellow and white. One pretty much looks like a woman carrying water but the other one has had many interpretations – fireworks, rain, and confetti to name a few.

I bought the folding table in Sandema last year when the decorating bug got me early in 2009. I am using it as a night stand. It is covered with a small quilted runner in Christmas colors made for me by my sister in law, Betty. Today John Updike’s rabbit is rich is sitting the table. A candle sits on the opposite corner waiting for evening to send its vanilla aroma around the room. A photo of Fiya in her dance costume is propped against the candle. Around the candle is grass necklace that Dizzy gave me and some red “filika” corn that the Adjagsa’s gave me. The rest of the nightstand inventory is as follows:

Queen Helene cocoa butter

Apricot had lotion

A yellow flashlight

A small pocket sized LED flashlight with white flowers on a pink and purple background reminiscent of the 60s

An envelope with a note from my sister in law, Melanie

A black hair scrungie

A yellow mechanical pencil

A pink eraser

Two yellow foam ear plugs

Red Sox playing cards

A box of matches

A wooden cross

An eyeglass cleaning cloth

One orange plastic clothespin

Strawberry Chap Stick

In front of the nightstand is a small basket, about the size of a handbag, filled with puzzle books and 4×6 photo books.

Beside the nightstand is a box of books, waiting until I buy a bookcase. On top of that box are a few books I am planning to read or that I think I need immediate access to – my bible, W Somerset Maugham’s Christmas Holiday(on the to read list), The White Giraffe, Brandt guide to Ghana, Unwinding Threads, Hoyles Encyclopedia of Card Games, Circus Fire by Stewart O’Nan, and Ananse Stories.

My desk faces my bed. The chair is against the wall because for some reason I hate to face a wall in a desk or is it that I hate having my back exposed, like some gangster! On the right side of the desk is a purple, blue and yellow cloth place mat from France. A clay bowl from Ghana sits on the place mat with seashells from Ghana in it. Today my voltic bottle, cell phone and computer case are also there. A pile of school books, note books and folders is on the left of the desk, near the back. A doily I bought in Connecticut with a ring of fall colors sits under a mayonnaise jar full of pen, pencils, markers and a ruler. Two letters lean against the mayonnaise jar. A small notebook for lists is near the pencil jar and Archer Mayor’s The Ragman’s Memory, sits on top of it. I finished it yesterday and want to return it to the library.  The two drawers are stuffed with the usual office type stuff. I am sitting behind my computer which is on the center of the desk.

On the wall by the window is my Read poster of Stewy, beside it is also a Read poster of Jeanette, Sue Bethune and me. Stewy needs to be near my desk to inspire my writing!

As sit here and type I can look up and out the west window and see the rain forest one foot away. There is also rain forest out the left hand window but also a grassy lawn heading down to the school buildings.

My two suitcases are next to the desk, against the south wall, to my left as I sit at the desk. One is filled with presents for my friends here. The other has misc things I don’t need right now, extra body scrungies, a bottle of conditioner, wet wipes, and curtains.

An army green L.L. Bean bag holds my camera, all its peripherals and my computer. A pink plastic compartmentalized tote holds my bath supplies. My two purple pails are next to it and my pink Crocs are at the door waiting for me to leave the room.

Near the door on the wall adjacent is my string art picture of three Ghanaian women.

The door is on the wall to the right from where I am sitting. On the back of the door are three nails. My purple, pink and green two yard hangs over my towel on one nail. A decorated calabash hangs on a nail near the top of the door. Over the top of the calabash is a three yard by 2 inch strip of cloth woven from Daboya. The other nail holds a black and red robe. My keys hang out of the lock.

The bunk beds fill the wall to the left of the door. They are my ‘closet’. My clothes are neatly folded on the bottom bunk. The top bunk holds shoes, toiletries, and other misc junk. My new lavender Bean backpack usually hangs off the most accessible post at the door end of the bunk bed and my army green Ghana backpack off the other one. I have hung a linen hand towel on the ladder that says “In a perfect world every home would have a cat and every cat a home.”

The floor is white tile and the ceiling is painted white crisscrossed with wooden slats making the ceiling look like one big tic tack toe board.