July 19, 2010

Ghana From the Beginning

This is my story, from when I left home in 2005 to now, five years later, in Ghana. Here's an excerpt from when I resigned and some of the reactions from colleagues in the then oil industry that I used to work in. Read the whole story at To Journey in Africa. If you're about to head to Ghana, you may find solace in the fears of another fellow traveler before she had any idea what she was getting herself into!
Time came to bid farewell to oil industry associates across the country. ‘You’ll have lots of fun in Ghana, but you won’t make any difference,’ quipped the Director of a reputable multinational. ‘Africans are ‘too tribal’ to ever make peace and they’ll never develop.’

A young German intern who had volunteered for the UN in Zambia advised me to take a cotton sleeping bag rather than silk or synthetic, ‘So you can wash and iron it. You must iron everything you leave to dry outside. You know these flies? Oh, what are they called? These flies they lay eggs in the clothes which hatch in your skin when you wear the clothes. They make bubbles in your skin and the worms burst out. You won’t die, but it’s disgusting,’ she smiled over the photocopier. Germans took the cake for directness. My colleague had taken a silk bag which, if she washed, she could not iron. So, she chose to sleep for two months, dirty, but peacefully, in an egg-free sleeping bag.

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