Wednesday August 21st:
This is technically the second week but the first week of classes/the semester.
Sunday August 25th:
This past weekend was spent in Cape Coast at Brenu Beach Resort. It sounds high and fancy, but in reality, it is a comfortable and down to earth little retreat, right up along the coast. One of my favorite things was the ability to hear, and see through the palms, the ocean waves crashing while up by our lodging.
This excursion was a great way to get away a bit after launching off into our courses, which, while not hard, are very engaging in terms of learning about a different culture through different contexts, whether it be about language, politics, or literature. I also think, it was a very nice way to wean us off of the Ghana "adventures" which we were getting used to with the first week, which was packed full with activities and new experiences. My absolute favorite moment of the weekend, however, was walking, standing, sitting, running, and just being on the beach at night, under the stars and the waning moon, with the waves crashing and washing over and pulling at my feet. It was absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing sight, especially when a little bit of mist/fog rolled in. I was able to just be in the moment, with nature, God, and my own thoughts.
Unfortunately, I did not take pictures during our stay at the beach, other than a couple of a little crab I caught at night on the beach. I decided, it was important for me to take the day truly as a break and avoid trying to capture everything and just be in the mix for a relaxing change.
This morning, I woke up with the sound of waves and natural morning light filtering through my window. I stepped out with my Bible and went down to the beach. I felt like there was just something calling to me, through nature, through my surroundings. I flipped through my Bible and decided that I'd read some psalms. Without thinking I found myself at Psalm 42. "Deep calls out to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me." That is verse 7, at the moment, upon reading it, I suddenly understood this verse, that I have read over so many times, just thinking, "that's beautiful imagery" or "that's interesting wording". But after that moment, I made a personal connection to that verse. I felt the "deep" in nature, in creation, from where God has left his mark, call out to the "deep" within, most definitely a mark of God within me, which was crying out in response the whole time there. I had only then, been able to name it; I found a way to describe the way I was feeling during the day and night before.
Later on, after we left the resort, on our way back to Accra, we stopped in Kakum at the a forest preserve, where we went on a canopy walk, which was fun, and during which I actually took pictures.
Week 3 (Aug26-Sept1):
As we all settle into our courses and life here, I'm starting to realize that life is still pretty much life, wherever it is. A group of our students left for half of the week and weekend to spend time in Adenkrebi, in the Ga East District. It is more quiet in our dorm rooms without everyone around, but it gave us a great opportunity for those of us left in the dorms, as well as those who went to Adenkrebi together, to grow closer together in smaller group settings.
On Saturday, I went with my professor, her daughter, and two other students to see a play by prominent Ghanaian playwright, and theatre producer and director, Ebo Whyte. It was wonderful to experience Ghanaian culture through a part of the "highlife" sub-culture. There is a slightly different dynamic, but all the cultural differences are still there, but perhaps in a different form. One thing I noticed, was a difference in the criterion of comedy. Even though we were laughing the whole time, I had this sense that we were laughing for different reasons. I wrote on this for a journal for a course and will probably expand upon it in this blog at some point.
Another event of interest: Right before the play, we had gone to a Poetry Jam hosted by the National Theatre and took place just outside of the main building. We watched, listened, and analyzed the poetry in form of spoken word, and it was really interesting to see the similarities and differences between the spoken word style of Ghanaian youth and those of the Western world. It was here that I finally got a stronger sense of the melding of modern culture in an international context. Our generation and those even younger are now living in a nearly seamless international, intercultural world, where cross cultural exchange and communication is easy and social media can connect continents not just communities. It's frightening and exciting to imagine the changes in the world and societies in the next couple decades as the current generation steps down and the current youth take the reigns of the working class majority, the chairs of government, and succeed the agency of media and prestige of fine arts.
It is more than halfway through this week, but for the sake of posting the previous two weeks' logs, I'll be posting this past week's thoughts (along with those of the next half week) partway through this upcoming week. We will be leaving for our northern excursion next Thursday morning bright and early. Since I figure I will have a lot to say about that, I assume that will be a whole post of its own.