Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Rundown

In the past 48 hours, I have done the following:
  • Slept in for the first time in like, um, forever. It was awesome.
  • Walked in and around the Makoro market in central Accra and saw things like "Crust Whitening" toothpaste and billboards that say "Please do not urine right here ->"
  • Found out my best friend, pending final approval, is moving to Rome in January. Cheap vacation here I come! Congrats Megs!
  • Hired a car for twice what it was worth to take me shopping. Once at said shopping area, didn't have enough money on me for what I wanted and was forced to take said taxi BACK to the hotel and repay the exorbantly high price (ok ok it was eight dollars, but still. I should've paid FOUR).
  • Bought kente cloth for myself and my boss.
  • Went to a colleague's house and ate authentic Malian food out out of a large bowl with five people I didn't know. Note to all lefthanders out there - we are dirty, dirty people. The trick is to ball it up in your hand and THEN pop it into your mouth, not to throw it at your face and hope some of it lands in your mouth like I did (which is a great way to hit your neighbor in the head and make a terrific mess). D'oh!
  • Attended a free concert at Alliance Francais of the totally awesome Malian musician Habib Koite and his band Bamadan. This guy is amazing and hot. I shook it with tons of African women in their vibrant bou-bous till the break of dawn. It. was. awesome!
  • Hired a car to take me to Cape Coast, the Elmina Castle and Kakum National forest. Crossed seven of the scariest, ricketiest, swingie-est, ropie-ist canopy bridges EVER and explored the first town that ever saw Europeans (to disasterous effects). Unfortunately, the Dutch and then the British used this town to export over 15 million Africans to the America's for over two hundred years. I walked among the dungeons in the coastal slave castle and just wept. It was so heartbreaking (and hot).

Since yesterday, I've discovered the one major downside of business travel: you don't get out into the countryside to meet with real locals, and if you do, you've got to do it by yourself. You're not on vacation. Chances are the others who are with you have work to do (as in my case), so you have to suck it up and go it alone. While I'm glad I did all this stuff in the last two days, I am really missing my friends, my handsome man-friend and my family. True, it's fun to experience things, but it's more enjoyable to share it with others.

Huh, I guess that's why I started this blog.

One last mini-seminar tomorrow and then we're back on the plane. I feel like I've been gone for ages, when in fact it's only been two weeks.

Africa over and out-


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