Thursday, 30 July 2009

Dezra iii- day to day...

I have a morning routine:
1) Brunch bar: scoff it down praying the doxycycline (malaria pill) won’t remind me of its existence all day long.

2) Surf through a pile of clothing: The majority of these, I swore I wouldn’t wear again before washing due to walks through the markets (I spend most of my time closing my eyes nose and mouth!) and the state of children’s hands. However when you’re desperate- it’s surprising what a nights sleep does to your memory.

3) Power walk to the other house: By power walk I mean stroll and at least have in mind that I should be in some kind hurry. Although this is only by Western thought, Ghanaians generally have no concept of time.

4) Avoid human contact: However lovely greetings are through out the day- they can be a source of frustration- especially when there’s more than 5 people demanding different responses at once. More importantly though, if you’re planning on sitting in close proximity to someone afterward, is avoiding our little neighbour -as cute as he may look. I learnt the hard way. Only the other day, seconds after Shuku climbed up my legs and wrapped his own around my neck did I have a man cycle past, stop, and point to me commenting in broad Ghanaian accent, “shit, you have shit on you” before continue on his way!

5) Travel to Jana village: More often than not is an adventure in itself. On a standard day we break down, but on more eventful ones we experience anything from being handed a random baby for the entirety of the journey, saturated by torrential rain as it enters the non existent widow to just having the cab driver arrested by the police.

6) Arrive in village and enter the little cement class room: this normally involves me failing miserably to hide my amusement at the parrot fashion greeting of ‘gooood mornin’ maaadam’ and the ‘we ah fiiine thank you’ that immediately follows (despite not uttering a single word).

Over the last few weeks, much has become same old. Today however it was not same old. And I wished it was. Today my morning saw me with a family shattered by the loss of their child, that tiny girl who only days before led me by the hand to the home of her sick friend. I stood speechless infant of her 8 year old sister who, only hours after was eager to learn with her peers. Completely out of my depth and unaccustomed to their traditions, I could only follow sheepishly behind our teachers who had been waiting for us to arrive so we could pay our respects to the family. As I took off my shoes and stepped inside, the hundreds of statistics I had previously heard at home vanished. These are individuals. This is reality.

1 comment:

  1. you have brought a tiny bit of Ghana into our home - life is so very fragile and this is so depicted in your writing. It stops us in our daily tracks and makes us think. x