Day 23 and 24
2 and 3 Jun
On Monday and Tuesday, I finally pulled the short straw. Woke up the first morning with my stomach ripping itself to shreds. Actually, I am amazed that I made it even halfway through this trip without getting sick like some of my other groupmates did. As much as I like the food here (I’m strangely content eating rice every day), I can’t help but feel like all the carbs, starches, and lack of vegetables are ruining my body. So, all day Monday I stayed at Ish to sleep and detox with water and tea. I think it helps to detox every once in a while, in general and especially as a traveler. Clears the pipes, y’know? Also, I’ve turned into an avid lover of Pepto Bismol chewables. And I can say that without shame because I’m 99% sure my entire group feels the same way, hahaha.
On the subject of being TMI, I should also mention an interesting cultural difference I discovered. Ghanaian men like it when women don’t shave their legs. They LIKE the fur. Or at least, they don’t mind it. In light of this newfound fact, guess what I started doing (or, not doing). Did I seize the opportunity to grow manleg fuzz in a context where it’s socially acceptable? Yes. Do I hate myself every time I look down to see the forest on my calves glowing in the sunlight? Yes. Thank you, Russian genes. I made a bet with my groupmate, Brian, that by the end of the six weeks my legs will rival his. (Enjoy that mental image...) I haven’t broken yet, but I saw a girl in the supermarket today who has clearly been au naturale for a while and I cringed. I saw myself in her legs... Don’t worry though, shaving will be the very last thing I do in Ghana before leaving. (Gare, you’ll have to find a new reason to divorce me ;) )
Anyway, on Tuesday I wasn't completely better, but I felt well enough to go to my Social Service Delivery Systems class, where Dr. Boateng prepped us for our field trip to the West African AIDS Foundation we would be taking the following day. Next to poverty and genocide, AIDS is another one of those funny words that tends to come to mind any time someone mentions Africa, yet I was taken aback during our discussion how little I actually know about the concern about AIDS here. But I’ll go into detail about that in Wednesday’s shpiel.