If I Could Change One Thing

I dreamt about writing this blog post, so I figured I should actually write it. If I could change one thing about Ghana, what would it be? If I could change one thing about America what would I change?

Let’s start with America, because I know exactly what I would change. Politics. The rhetoric and political wrangling in America is absolutely absurd. There can never be real change or momentum because a few people in Washington are always holding America hostage. A few well paid politicians who crave power and control refuse to listen to the people and make necessary changes to keep America at the forefront of well anything. Some special interest or oil company is lining a politician’s pockets and screwing over everyone else in the process. Politics in America hold us back. Politicians don’t care about anything but themselves and getting re-elected. Please note that these comments and beliefs are unique to this time period of my life and should not be brought up during my Senate confirmation hearings. In 20 years I will love all politicians and think they are protecting Americans from themselves. (Noted, Chairman?)

Ghana is much more difficult. Infrastructure here is severely lacking, but I’m not sure I would change that if I could only change one thing. Would I change the constant heckling in my town? Obroni! Obroni! Come here! Why don’t you greet me? Hmmm, it is bothersome, but I’m not sure I would waste a change on that either. AHA. I have it.

If I could change one thing in Ghana it would be the radio. That’s right, the radio. First of all, it is always too loud – no matter where it is playing. Tro? Too loud. Compound? WAY too loud. Coming from someone’s cell phone? Too loud, jesus. Late at night coming from my neighbor’s TV at 2am? TOO LOUD. Secondly, the commercials are beyond annoying – it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. But the real zinger is the radio on Sunday. Church day. (I’m going to go back to a previous post and again blame missionaries for all of this.) Someone, probably a missionary, told all Ghanaians that they have lovely singing voices and they should sing at the top of their lungs to really bad music and call it Gospel. They should also make sure to have bad keyboard things going on in the background. Now let’s play it non-stop on Sundays, again, extremely loud. The other day I actually put earplugs in because I was about to pull my hair out. I went around looking for anyone in the compound to ask to turn it down, but they all magically disappeared. Ghanaian Radio Gospel has done one good thing though, it has made me appreciate it silence so much more than I ever thought I would. There are very few times in this country when I experience true silence, no birds, no roosters, no kids screaming, no bugs, no radio, no talking, no nothing. Most of the time it is around lunch in my compound during the week, for maybe 1 hour. Or when my neighbor is on vacation and then it is middle of the night, but the frogs have been disrupting that nowadays.

There is so much going on sensory-wise in Ghana, my ears are constantly struggling to keep my brain from going crazy. It is really crazy how much noise there is here (most of which is propagated by the damn radio). It makes you really truly appreciate silence or at least quiet. There is a reason I love taxi rides, I can request they don’t play the radio, if no one is on their phone, then all you have is car white noise. The wind whips your hair around and the breeze feels so nice on your hot, sweaty skin. All you have is the scenery (which around my area always takes my breath away. I just realized the other day that you can see mountains from my street. At the top of the hill in town you can see for miles, I’m sure you could actually see the Ivory Coast on a clear day. Anyway, taxi rides are my little noise getaway.

So, radio in Ghana. I would change you if I could only change one thing. I would go Office Space on you if I could get my hands on a baseball bat. Anyone in the military want to send me a radio jammer?


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