My Second Ghana Birthday

Thursday I celebrated my 25th birthday. Well technically I celebrated on Wednesday, but Thursday was my actual birthday. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up, having an excuse to do ridiculous makeup, and pretending like you are someone else for a night. Plus, I love candy. We had a party and I dressed up like a Ghanaian billboard model.

In Ghana they are these giant billboards advertising fabric brands. Vlisco, Da Viva, and others. They always have the most ridiculous outfits on with crazy shoes. So I put on my most ridiculous pants, my crazy shoes, and put on a headwrap. It was fantastic. My makeup was phenomenal, even for me. I really went all out. I was still recovering from whatever was living in my stomach, but I had a great time. I’m glad I got to spend my birthday with my friends.

At midnight, a bunch of my friends gave me a special treat. It was like Magic Mike, but not really…My friend Richie gave me cheese and giraffe handkerchiefs. Jasmine gave me a beautiful elephant bracelet, a stress ball, and peanut butter cups. Love it! I have such wonderful friends. It really feels like I’ve made up for all the crappy birthdays I have had in my life. I’m looking at you 3.

I’d just like to take a quick moment to thank my family and friends for wishing me a happy birthday. It meant a lot. Thanks Mom for the email! Dad, even though I was getting on a tro, I appreciate you calling. Julie, thanks for your email too! My old friend Dan from my exchange year in Germany sent me a great birthday message. I’m so happy all my friends wrote me a quick message on facebook. Even though I am half a world away, I still feel like I’m a part of their lives. I can’t wait to meet all the new babies and husbands when I finally make my way back home.

It is hard to believe I have been here exactly 1 year and 1 month. 397 days. Only 1 year, 1 month, and 11 days to go. Time really does start accelerating once you graduate college. Still hard to believe I’m a quarter of a century old. I only have 5 more years of my 20s.


I noticed something exciting the other day related to this blog. This past week I wrote my 200th blog post. Two hundred entries. (Well more now) I’ve been chronicling my journey through Peace Corps for almost two years. I thoroughly enjoy blogging and I’m glad I get to share my stories with you.

There are many more stories to come. In fact today I’m going to the district government offices to ask them for support in organizing two big training events. Which means I need them to pay for stuff. Which means I’m going to have one hell of a time today trying to convince some people to cough up cash. It is an election year though and one of the events I have planned is right before the election, maybe that will be a boon.

Today is also important. Today I have to find a fax machine. I need to fax my ballot. So not only do I need to find a fax machine, but I need it to work. I’ll admit, I’m pretty jaded when it comes to voting. I know that my vote doesn’t matter at all. The electoral college makes sure of that. If the vote was based on actual votes and every vote actually mattered, I would care more. I wouldn’t be near as frustrated. America is the land of the free, we have so many liberties and luxuries. But in our democracy, our right to vote is confined to the state we live in. So no matter what I may believe, it only matters what some people believe. So I’ll try and vote because I feel obligated to, but I know in my heart that it won’t make any difference.

In some ways Ghana is actually ahead of America when it comes to voting. They use biometric controls for voting (you vote electronically with your fingerprint). They have had a massive campaign all year long for getting people registered (you get a free ID card!). Everyone I know who can vote is registered. The vote is based on a popular vote, I believe it is 50% +1. There is a runoff if the election is too close. There are many different parties, not just two. And they are ALL on the ballot. The politicians have to campaign everywhere, because every single person’s vote matters. This year will be very interesting. Since Atta Mills died, the Vice President is now the first President Ghana has ever had from the North. The North typically tends to vote conservative, but John Mahama is from the liberal party. I’ll be interested to see what happens. And I’ll be sitting tight in my house for that week.

Just like I’ll be sitting tight in my house Wednesday morning to wait for the results from tomorrow. Tomorrow’s election may just determine where I will live for the foreseeable future. 


Also on a completely unrelated note, this morning I woke up to a rooster crowing. It was a good thing too, because I forgot to set my alarm. Lucky rooster, he lives another day.


7 thoughts on “My Second Ghana Birthday

  1. Well, Happy (belated) Birthday, girlfawkes! Glad to hear you’re not suffering too much out there… Oreo cookies, huh? I remember the time I was in Egypt for six months when the chocolate brownies came with a parts shipment–I did my very own “dying cockroach” spasm in PURE, unadulterated joy.

    Meanwhile, back at the natural gas processing equipment ranch, we’re still alive & well… sorta’… most of us, anyhow–there are several new faces and some others have gone. Ol’ Joe upstairs is still up there, and, yes, he’s still… uhh… well, nothing’s changed!

    • Chocolate brownies you say?! mmmmm, I wonder how long those stay good…Has anyone told Joe what the term retire means? Maybe he just doesn’t know. Good to know some things stay exactly the same. Miss you! Give my greetings to the majority of the people! Oh, they are building a processing plant over here for all the natural gas they just found. I thought about going down there, haha.

  2. They sent me boxes of individually-wrapped brownies, so they last fairly well. Yeah… “store-bought” but all considered, WAY better’n nuthin’! Send me some kind of procedure & address to send ’em to and I’ll give it a shot.

    You DIDN’T take that YSL sweater over there, didja’?

  3. Oh, I see you have a “wish-list” page… and after scanning it for over three hours, I see that you have NOT included a kitchen sink, but pretty-much everything else!

    • I have a kitchen sink, thank you very much. Just wish the running water would turn back on. And no the YSL sweater did not make an appearance in Ghana, something told me it might be too hot. But I do admit, during the rainy season the nights do get quite chilly. You know in the low 70s, brrrrrr.
      You know when I get care packages, I dump the entire contents into the chair next to me. That way I can quickly reach over and start munching on oreos when I realize everything has just gone to shit.

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