So now that I have been here over a week, I thought I would update you on my big move to my new town! I got to my site late at night and covered in dirty dirty filth. I seriously looked miserable. I didn’t feel all that great either. I didn’t really eat anything that day. I picked up all my stuff at my counterpart’s house and dropped it off at my home. Then we went back to her house and I stayed there my first night. That shower was amazing. Seriously amazing. And by shower I mean bucket bath. The next day we went to my house. I got to tour my house for the first real time. I had only actually seen one room previously. I have a working toilet – flush and all, a LEGIT shower, a bedroom that is pretty good size, and a living room of equal size. The best part was when we opened up the door to the kitchen. I thought I was getting a tiny little closet that I could cook in. My kitchen is HUGE. Gigantic really. I have a real kitchen sink. Thanks to the previous volunteer, I have a gas stove, tank, pots, pans, and plates. The gas stove is so-so, I am going to end up buying a new one. I plopped my water filter down and filled that baby up. The water tastes amazing – even better than my Brita in Tulsa. I am so spoiled! I got a table made for my kitchen that was delivered a few days after being at site. As of right now I still don’t have any gas though, so I haven’t been able to cook anything for myself. I have two electrical outlets in every room. Only one works though, luckily I bought a power strip.
The walls in my rooms were bright blue. At night it made my home look like a shady motel. So I bought some paint and went at it. Funny thing about painting: so in Ghana, women don’t paint. AT ALL. Everyone was giving me funny looks and asking me if I was really painting myself. Once it was all done, the Ghanaians were significantly impressed that I can command a paint brush. I am going to let them believe it was really difficult and that I am superwoman because I can paint. My bedroom is now sandstone, and my living room is yellow with one wall that is still blue with a giant yellow diamond on it. I put up the cards I have gotten since I have been here on that wall.
I finally got shelves for my living room. You know how frustrating it is to be in your new home and not able to unpack anything because you can’t put it anywhere! So I had shelves made. They are huge and fit almost 2 suitcases worth of stuff on it. I have fashioned the second shelf as a desk that I put my laptop on. I am waiting to get another desk made. I have a wardrobe coming as well. I designed that one myself and I am really excited about how it turns out. I am going to put fake kente fabric over the front instead of doors.
My bed is extremely comfortable. I love it. The only complaint I have, okay two. The water does go out often – I think it might have been related to the holidays though. And because we moved in around the holidays all the electricians in town refuse to come out. I am hopefully supposed to get one over tomorrow. I have had ceiling fans for over a week now just sitting on the floor waiting to be installed. Can’t wait for them to be in place. At night though it is rather chilly, prob in the 60s. BRRRR.
Right now it is the harmattan, which means it is windy and dusty. And dry. I feel like my nose is going to fall apart. It is so sore and dry. During the day I have trouble breathing because my nose is killing me. I feel like I have dust in my lungs too. Oh well, the harmattan won’t last forever. I just need to find some Vaseline.
So yeah, as far as sites go, I think I made out like a bandit. Running water, electricity, flushing toilet, SHOWER, amazingly nice compound family, beyond fantastic counterpart, ridiculously perfect job assignment, and very convenient location. I think I hit the Peace Corps jackpot. And I am so grateful for that. I truly love it here, it already feels like home. I can see myself living here for longer than 2 years. I think I was born in the wrong country – I feel so Ghanaian. Next census I am labeling myself African-American let’s see how that goes over, haha!
Sorta on the same subject. My counterpart and I share the same passion for Ghanaian fashion. Today we went to the tailor and it was so funny. I got paired with the perfect person. I showed my counterpart and tailor my designs and we were debating the feasibility and different styles. It was so great. I have a $400 anthropologie and $300 jcrew dress incoming from the tailor. Total cost: 40 cd, plus two shirts. MUHAHA. I am so excited to see how it comes out. The fabric for the anthro dress is such a beautiful batik pattern. I can’t wait to come back to America and wear only my African outfits. I can’t wait to see the look on people’s faces. Going to be hilarious.