32 things I will miss, 6 things I won’t

One week from today, I will leave Accra, strapped into a metal paper towel tube to go hurtling across the Atlantic towards Dallas, Texas. Delta Airlines better be equipped to handle my hysteria.

I will miss

  • eating sweet, sugary pineapple til my lips bleed from the acid
  • knowing, from the movement of air through the dorm, that an earth-shattering thunderstorm is coming
  • buying sachet water (10 pesewas each) through the window of a trotro
  • my roommate
  • all these ISEP people
  • Sports Clubs
  • playing hearts at the tables below the stairs
  • walking through the construction zone to get half price pizzas on Tuesdays
  • games of Truth
  • the morning show on 99.7 Joy FM, with news and interviews and Ghana’s gossip
  • the joyful music everywhere- highlife and hiplife
  • funerals on Saturdays with parades and brass marching bands
  • Evan’s music
  • running with Scott
  • barley Adam acting charmingly out of character by spewing misogynist remarks at me
  • Professor Adjimani’s jokes
  • the yellow slogans on the backs of taxis and trotros
  • Kelly and Alan as a comedic duo
  • bargaining
  • jollof with waakye and eggs and fried plantains and shito
  • being able to constantly be with people doing fun things
  • unexpected heart-to-hearts with burly Adam
  • coming back to ISH at the end of the day to hear what crazy things happened to everyone that day
  • the basket lady
  • speaking Twi
  • the frequent attempts Ghanaians make to save my soul
  • the importance placed on greetings
  • the dearth of processes or packaged foods
  • gigantic group trips to the smoothie place in Osu
  • repeatedly pushing the limit of how many people can fit in a taxi (record: 9 mode: 6)
  • the de facto ish book exchange/library
  • hearing people shout “Obruni!” everywhere I go

I won’t miss

  • inefficiency in everything
  • homophobia
  • not having a reliable way to contact my family
  • bribery
  • aggressive propositions from men
  • hearing people shut “Obruni!” everywhere I go

Surprisingly, I don’t feel too strongly either way about

  • the necessity of being paranoid about what food is safe to eat and what water is safe to drink
  • running through cholera-infested puddles after it rains
  • the terrible roads
  • sporadic losses of electricity and running water
  • the impossibility of finding good internet or, sometimes, any internet
  • Good Morning Diarrhea
  • sweat dripping into my eyes during class
  • the threat of malaria
  • sunburns
  • no hot water
  • worms- in your intestines and under your skin

It’s strange because I’m looking forward to being at home but I know that in order to get there I have to leave here. That thought is devastating. Every time I remember that I will leave Ghana in seven days, I’m thrown into a grief so deep I’m tempted to binge on Fanice and plantain chips. There’s this slick sadness oozing into my experiences here because I know that it’s ending soon. I’m mourning the fact that I have to leave. Good thing Ghanaians have such beautiful bereavement outfits!


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