My time in Accra was bittersweet for so many reasons. Lets start with the sweet.
People have asked me, "How was your trip? Tell me everything!" It's impossible. I don't know if I could ever accurately articulate everything that happened (both bitter and sweet) or every emotion I experienced. My reply is generally, "It was amazing!"
I recognize that I hold a very glamorized version of Africa in my head. This is mostly due to the quest to create and hold on to an African identity that was stolen from me. Though I have only been to Africa twice, on two very short trips, I still feel freer there. I am more relaxed and more at peace within my body. I am not thinking about all of my never-ending thoughts. No thoughts about what to eat and when, or getting to work. So many thoughts about work! I've yearned to connect with Africa so badly that it's slightly confusing for me to meet people of African descent that do not share my feelings. So being in Africa will always be sweet even when things or a particular situation is less than desirable.
Accra has a culture. Everything about it feels like another country. I often found myself feeling invisible, but in a good way. It was like I had been picked up and placed in another world and there I was standing there while this world was buzzing all around me. Everything I observed was beautiful to me and again I was amazed by the color of everything. All the colors seemed to be in high definition, saturated with life. I enjoyed hearing the language and trying to see if my sprit could translate. African people throughout the Diaspora are so expressive. Even though I did not speak Fanti or Twi, I generally understood tone and emotions of the conversations being spoken around me.
The food was also really good! I got to try several local dishes. Staples like fufu and palm nut soup, banku, and kenkey were in heavy rotation on my plate! There was very little that I just didn't like and there is nothing, nothing, as good in the states as the fresh plantain chips they sell roadside! I came home and bought some from my local grocery store only to be hugely disappointed. They tasted like cardboard!
So the culture of Accra was amazing. The people, the language, the food. I realize I could go on but this would be a very long blog post!
The bitter part of my trip, largely revolved around a severed friendship and the fact that I didn't want to leave. I cried like a baby in the airport because I just didn't want to come back. It's like a bit of depression began to creep in the Saturday before I left. I shed a few tears on the plane and managed not to have a full out breakdown but by the time I made it to New York I couldn't hold it anymore. See living abroad is one of my lifelong dreams. I've never felt so close to actualizing it and to feel so close, yet so far away can be frustrating. So I felt a deep sadness because my life is not yet doing what I want it to do. I'm learning to be patient with God's timing and to trust Spirit's design for my life. In the meantime, I'll be continuing to job search and put things in motion for this vision to manifest.
Kanika: Poet. Lover of Words. One who tells the stories of the mundane and inanimate. Bearer of Light, Water, and Sky.