Wednesday, 2 July 2014

When in Ghana, do something stupid… to celebrate Canada Day?!

Well, all you lovely folks back home – Happy (belated) Canada Day! As the title of this post suggests, I perhaps did something that some might consider to be a little risky, but being as I’m typing away here, I’m sure we've all come to the conclusion that I am safe and sound (unless of course something happens between now and when I go to the post this, in which that would be a bummer - this is an awesome story!).

Oddly enough, July 1st is a public holiday in Ghana as well, which meant, we were able to enjoy a day off. The Ghanaians celebrated Ghana, and us Canadians, well, we didn't really celebrate at all…

My day started off with laundry. So much laundry. For those of you who do not know what that means, I’m not talking about throwing some items into a machine and walking off. No, I’m talking about two solid hours of hand washing. Sure, I could do myself a favour and do a few things here and there, but, then what would I complain about? Anyway, laundry is actually usually put off due to pending rain. But, when you’re down to your last pair of undies, you don’t really have much choice. And, just like all the other times I have done laundry, I started off outdoors in the beautiful sunshine, and the moment I hung the last item on the line, the ominous clouds began to take over! I decided to ignore them, as my clothes were already soaked anyway, and packed my bag to head to town.

Originally, I had planned to venture into the market, find a place to sit or hangout and just people watch and snap some photos. But, by the time I arrived in town, I was fairly certain that it would begin to downpour at any moment, thus making it unpleasant/pointless to follow through with my plan. So, I did what any responsible, young lady would do – I jumped on a random trotro and made my way to wherever it was going. Why was this stupid you ask? Well, a) when it rains, they don’t usually operate, meaning I could be dropped off somewhere and become stranded, b) I didn't tell anyone where I was going, other than “to town to people watch,” c) my phone was dying, and d) because I’m a young, female obruni (white person)!

As the trotro headed out of town, it began to rain, but not enough for the driver to pull over. After about 45 minutes to an hour, a bunch of people were getting out and I could see a park of sorts across the street. With my “do one thing a day that scares you” philosophy in mind, I jumped out of the trotro (not actually, it was stopped, and I actually exited in my usual awkward, 'wrong foot first' way) and followed the masses. I can’t tell you, even now, where I was or what this park was, but it was freakin’ amazing! It was some sort of forest/botanical garden thingy, and there were hundreds of people there celebrating.

But, as I alluded to earlier, that rain quickly became a torrential downpour! So, what does a very white Canadian do when she’s in a place she knows nothing about? Well, she jumps on to a random bus filled with students having what can only be described as the best dance part in the history of “torrential downpour bus dance parties!” It was probably one of the most incredible moments of my life! Everyone was laughing, singing, playing instruments, dancing, and just living in the moment. They invited me back to join them, but I regretfully stood at the front smiling and chatting with the few people around me.

When the rain finally died down enough, I hopped out and did a little tour around the premises. It was so beautiful, and exactly what I needed in that moment. I woke up feeling slightly homesick, and wanted nothing more than to find a tree to plunk myself under and either read, write, or just process (ESST-style!). Unfortunately they rain began once again, so I wasn't able to do that, but I truly enjoyed my time just adventuring around and getting caught in the rain!

After an hour or so, I made my way back to the trotro station where I returned once again to the comfort of Koforidua. When I arrived back at the home stay, my clothes were dried, and I learned that it hadn't rained there at all while I was gone. This was the perfect way to end such a crazy-awesome day. And this my friends, is perhaps my best story ever. 

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