“Ghana is so sweet.” My friend Rebekah spoke these words in August this year as we were on our way from the capital in Accra to Cape Coast, just a few hours away. We had been planning our travels for around a year. We had a Skype call with some friends of ours to plot our return to Ghana together having all been part of a cohort of California kids studying at the University of Ghana just a few years ago. I had not been able to return, but Rebekah had been able to spend long stints at a time in Ghana. She leads backpacking groups through the country, connecting with and learning from various communities, local partners and grassroots organizations to better understand global issues.
“Ghana is so sweet.” We were on the first leg of our journey to Cape 3 Points, the most southern part of Ghana that sticks out like a small tooth along the ridged edge of the country. As soon as we left the busyness of Accra and started through the countryside, the sweet warm air smelled of greenery. The lushness of our surroundings blinking with colorful and aromatic flowers. Packed on a converted van (here called a tro tro) watching the world pass by, falling in and out of sleepy conversations, hearing the rhythmic speech and deep-chested laughter of Ghanaian passengers. I heard the words again in my head, “Ghana is so sweet.”
M3kc Ba (me koh bah)
In the Akan dialect, Asante-Twi, this means I will go and come back. People say it usually as they leave to grab something they forgot in their room, or as they’re standing to go to the bathroom. For me, I’ve now left Ghana twice and returned. The first time, I was here as a student for a year. The second time was as a tourist. Now I’m back on a mission.
No, that doesn’t mean working with a nonprofit or a church, though those are frequently the reasons obrunis (foreigners) come to the country. I started working on a story about a land dispute during my tenure as a student here, and although endings really only happen in fiction, I found during my visit in August that it has far from even begun. So here I am.
I’ll be detailing my travels, describing my reporting (to an extent) and I hope through the process, reader, you and I can learn a little more about each other.
I’m not an expert, or a scholar. I’m a foreign visitor in a place I’ve come to love. I hope that in telling stories, that you can begin to understand how connected we are. From continent to continent, country to country, through commerce and culture, I’ve learned we strive and struggle for the same things.
So please message questions you have to our Facebook page or in the comments section below. Whatever you’d like to know about life here— the food, languages, housing, social structures, history— I’m happy to take assignments.
Until then, y3hb3hyia bio (yeh beshia bee-oh) — we’ll meet again.
Photo 1: A boy from the community on the estuary poses with his fish before he begins to prepare it for supper.
Photo 2: Dancers from Emancipation Culture Troupe prepare to perform for a program to celebrate my birthday in the community of Kewunor.