Friday, July 20, 2012

The home stretch

Day 35-38
14-17 July 2012

All right, having two days left in Ghana, I am increasingly threatened with the lurking possibility that I’m going to be stuck catching up on journal entries when I’m back home (a little, well, purpose-defeating of a study abroad blog). So, I’m going to combine these four days, which were mostly spent being sick and writing papers anyway, because I would still like to have some time to reflect on the end of my experience!

On Saturday, I spent the brunt of the day with Isa working on papers. The majority of our group was gone on a somewhat impromptu beach trip, but a few of us stayed behind to try and be productive (which didn’t actually end up doing me much good, as I’ll explain in a bit). Though my day wasn’t journal-worthy, my NIGHT was. However, due to my concern for professional appearances (Hi there, Dr. Valentine and honors staff!), I am going to carefully leave this story out of my study abroad saga. I can’t say that night was my first (or probably my last) lapse of judgement as a twenty-something, but hey, that’s what being a twenty-something is all about, right? In the end, it was a ridiculously amazing time. I am still trying to wrap my mind around everything that happened! Don’t hesitate to ask me if you’d like to hear the details sometime, and I won’t hesitate to share :) To be honest, I’m writing this “censored note” so that I won’t forget about this night when I look back on my blog later!

Sunday morning, Ruth and I woke up early to meet our program director, Abigail, for church! We had been hoping to have the opportunity to check out a local church service to see how people here (well, at least one congregation) celebrate God, but our weekends prior had been filled up with trips and the like. This was our first free Sunday to go, so we asked Abigail if we could join her at her church, Harvest Chapel. It was really lovely! A bit long, about three hours Ruth and I champed on empty stomachs, but still lovely. I have never seen such animated worship! There was a full band with a drummer, a bassist, and four vocalists. The vocals stole the show, by far. We didn’t understand most of it because it was in Twi, but it was so upbeat and lively that we couldn’t help but get up and dance with the congregation. People were clapping and singing and greeting each other and a few were even shaking tambourines! It’s interesting to see the contrast between this church and the one I attend at home, Living Stones. A lot of our songs seem more... sentimental, with an undertone of reverence. Aside from the occasional lifted hands, we’ve really got that side-swaying move down ;) I love worship like I love art. There’s no right or wrong to it; whether it’s a choir hymn or a death metal riff. After the service, a couple women came up to welcome us and brought us juice and tuna pies. I swear, if I’m bringing one thing back to the States, it’s Ghanaian hospitality. I’m sure being a foreigner doesn’t hurt the fact that people are friendly, but y’know, an gesture of kindness is a gesture of kindness. The rest of the day was more paper-writing and studying for my 7:30 am Monday Twi exam.

Monday, a whole lot of nothing. After Twi, I came back to Ish to write. I’m not sure what it is about this last week... if it’s the fact that we’re finishing up classes or if it’s the anticipation of going home, but these days really seem to be blending together. I did stop by the night market later that day to find new fruit! Star fruit, passion fruit, and rambutan... I had to try it all. Little did I know, OH little did I know that my lust for trying adventurous foods would be my downfall. Pretty convinced that one of the three gave me food poisoning. I’m leaning toward the star fruit because it was the only one that didn’t need to be peeled. Well, here’s some fun pictures of the fruit that ruined my life for the next two days!
Rambutan! Peel apart its spiky exterior and there's a white grape of sorts!

Passion fruit! My favorite, by far. It's just like the juice!

Before the plague hit me, I had the fantastic fortune of finding out that night that my papers were due a day earlier than I thought, a.k.a. the next day. With only one 1.5 spaced eight page paper half written and another one zero percent written, the news about gave me a hernia. Despite my best efforts to avoid one, studying abroad would not let me get away without an all-nighter. That, combined with my monthly female condition must have made my body the perfect kitchen for a bacterial soup. I am not sure what I would have done on Tuesday without Dr. Boateng letting me leave early from class presentations to go home and sleep and giving me an extra day to finish my last assignment.

Rounding the home stretch in my #ghanalife.

Nante yie,

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