Saturday, October 9, 2010

You're Not Francis...

My internet credit ran out, and I decided to delay buying more for a little while. I'm shocked by how much somewhat isolating myself has helped me to settle in even more and not feel homesick. I guess it's hard to really be in Ghana when I'm connected to America via the internet every night. Removing that crutch was more beneficial than I expected.
Anyway, I have a bunch of blog posts to post at once, but the date I actually wrote them is at the top.
Happy reading!

(September 28, 2010)

A new volunteer arrived today!

We were told to expect an 18-year-old German boy named Francis.

She's a 19-year-old British girl named Lula.

....Okee dokee, close enough.

She'll be here for 6 weeks. She seems pretty shy, but very nice. She works in the hospital with Julia and lives next door to Good Shepherd, my school.

Although we welcome any fellow volunteer, Julia and I mourned the loss of a male companion. Unfortunately that makes a huge difference here in where we can go, how late we can stay out, and our host parents' comfort levels. And we are severely deficient in terms of trustworthy men.
We actually invented a boy we call Robert Praise The Lord, who is the source of endless jokes. He's the ideal man: in his mid-20's, has a serious girlfriend, goes everywhere with us, and is clean cut, very protective of us but unfailingly polite, and- of course- a DEVOUT Christian, as holy as they come. Hence the name.

Despite the inconvenience of not having a male volunteer, I'm still happy Lula is a girl. Back home, the vast majority of my friends are guys. Normally I prefer that, but in a situation like this, where my choices are so limited, I think it's better that my friends are other girls. Lula came and my friend group literally doubled. I am extremely fortunate that I genuinely like Julia as much as I do...because it's not as if I have any other options. I have more acquaintances than I know what to do with, but only two people I can truly count on. I need all the solidarity I can get, and being a white girl in Ghana is vastly different than being a white guy in Ghana.
To be honest, I've never been put off men/dating/romance so much in my life (Ok, ok, stop cheering, Dad). It's a little ironic that I would be a freshmen in college, a time when you usually go a little crazy in that department, and instead I'm thinking, "I dare you to ask for my number. Call me baby one more time..."
Not that I'm a man hater (I keeping thinking that says Manhattan) by any means. I know there are plenty of great men out there- my host father definitely being one of them, thank you God thankyouthankyouthankyou. It's just that the scummy ones stick out so much more. And it frustrates me that they act so entitled to my time and attention. Like I'm the rude one if I don't say "Why yes, I love you too as a matter of fact and I would like nothing better than to take you back to America with me" when they approach me on the street?

But on the positive side, I'm growing quite the backbone. I like to think I already had one, but I'm realizing I was less bite and more bark before. But now I've been provoked enough that I've learnd to be both when the situation calls for it. Arf arf!

(Feel free to start cheering again, Dad.)

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