Homestay

Trip Start Aug 16, 2008
1
5
9
Trip End Dec 13, 2008


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Where I stayed
Patience Boateng's House

Flag of Ghana  ,
Sunday, September 21, 2008

I went on a home-stay this weekend, and again my life was altered. When we first arrived, after an hour ride (which should have taken ten minutes) I was hit with the stench of dried/and wet for that matter pee. We walked through a series of tin houses and no paved road. I began to get scared, seeing as how i didn't intend to sleep on a dirt floor. Yet, when we got to the house that myself and Ellie would be staying in, it was nicer. I believe because it was the landlady's house and our host family rented two rooms from her. After meeting Ms. Patience Boateng who is 24 and her husband lives and works in Holland at the moment, we were greeted with Auntie Agi and baby Eme. They feed that child WAYYYY to much! Anyways I had a great moment to my self as I was carrying my bucket of water for my "shower" to the washroom. This place that NYu has only let us drive through was now my home. I embraced it and loved it. The next couple of days I felt like family. We made sooo much food. All of which we ate with our hands of course! That was kinda weird honestly, and I thank god for forks and knifes. Also since Ellie and I are peascaterians (vegetarians that eat fish) every meal consisted of some sort of fish based item. I am throughly full with salmon! We meet the cutest 14yr girl named Christana but Chrissy for short. Her and her brother were the most accommodating young people I've ever met. They genuinely just wanted for us to be happy.
We watched tons of Nigeran films. Boy let me tell you I'm glad to be in the Hollywood system. The movies were hilariously over acted with costumes and wig changes every scene. They staged some scenes in the middle of the forest and STILL these ladies found time (and spare rooms) for purple, green, and blond wig changes. It was hilarious. But these are their famous stars. Funny stuff I tell you.
We went to a naming ceremony yesterday. Even though it was over when we got there it was still exciting to see all the family. I promise you these people looked like they could have been Brunsons' or Ragins'. Yet, none of them spoke good English. What was a bitter sweet moment was when we arrived and all of the black people flocked to Ellie because of her white skin. They automatically spoke English and was so thrilled when she spoke Twi back. When they finally acknowledged my presence they began speaking Twi. Luckily Chrissy had gone with us and told them that I am not Ghanain. They then asked where I was from. As soon as I opened my mouth their faces dropped. "You are Black American?" Yes I replied. "So you not Ghanain?" I told them I wasn't sure. They responded with "So you don't speak Twi." Again I regretfully told them no. "uhhhuhhh ohhhh ok." Was the answer. They seemed perplexed and even quite disappointed. "Why don't your parents tell you where you are from?" I told them that they didn't know where we were from and thus couldn't tell me an answer. "Tsk tsk tsk. Well you are Ghanain now." Although this loving affection was shown towards me I wanted people to know that I am American. Maybe it was the attention that I wanted, or maybe just the fact that in some way I was different from them. I am still battling that internally but I will keep my emotions inside until I figure them out. The funny thing is that all we share is skin tone and hair texture, but I am not African. For the first time in my 'wanna be afrocentric' life I am proud to be a mixture of both the Diasporic African peoples and Europeans. To put down my sword and deny one from the other would be to deny myself all that I have worked to achieve in this world.

We got up this morning to go to Mass. A lot of the Ga people (that's the name of their tribe if you will) are Catholics. The service was entirely too long. And I also woke up with a neck cramp that didn't help the situation any.
All in All I had a very loving and maturing weekend. I'm not so sure if I'll jump eagerly into the next homestay opportunity. But I did promise Auntie Agi that I would return before I left for America, and I intend on keeping my word. : )
Until next time (and with much homework to do),Joy B
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