Earlier in the week I got a bad sunburn on my legs. Really bad, as of right now my legs are actually a deep purple – not even red. That’s a new phenomenon. So, I suffered through tros, taxis, and walking for a few days. Not really too much aloe vera around here – I mean there are plants but all the ones near me are just babies. I can’t harvest them yet (there is a Harry Potter reference in there somewhere). The pain is incredible, I truly have never had sunburn hurt so bad. Let the record show, skin cancer is inevitable (for me).
This morning I was washing a small load of laundry (which by the way a spider crawled out of my clothes while I was picking them from the basket – small freakout – as usual). My neighbors saw how red my legs where. This is where it gets interesting. Imagine this: you have lived in Africa your entire life. You have seen a few white people. Your skin is black. You don’t get sunburns. Now imagine you see a white person with very deep red skin that when you touch it turns back to white then back to red. You can imagine how shocked my neighbors were at this weird thing covering my legs. They became very concerned. They carried on with their cooking and laundry. I went to take a shower.
I get out of the shower and I am running around with just my two yard. The mom in my compound knocks on the door. I open the door and they barge in. They tell me to sit down. They show me some type of ointment and start applying it to my legs. The mom is being really aggressive and rubbing the ointment into my legs like she was trying to scrub the sunburn off. Then she started moving up my thigh and working on the sunburn there. I was still in just a two yard, nothing underneath. It was just a tad bit past the awkward line. She then proceeded to massage my legs and really rub the ointment in. Not going to lie, it actually felt pretty good at that point. I kept having to push my two yard down though so I still had a shred of dignity. I honestly can’t think of another situation that could be a better definition of awkward.
So as quick as they came in, they shuffled out and I was left in a weird daze. What just happened? Was I just violated? A little bit. Did it feel good – yeah actually it did. Do my legs feel better? Good lord yes they do. My sunburn barely hurts anymore. The weird part is, I think the ointment is vicks vapor rub.
So yeah, I am glad I could share cultures with the Ghanaians. Even if it was incredibly awkward. I taught them what a sunburn is. They taught me that they will take care of their neighbors no matter what. They also brought me beans and rice. I showed them what a white person’s thigh looks like. Pretty sure that’s an even trade.