Sunday, July 05, 2009

I Guess I'm Just Different

It was my intention to go to the internet café this evening as I have not been there since Wednesday but of course, the electricity is currently not working. Hopefully it will come back on sometime this evening so I can still fulfill my goal of going to the internet café tonight.

I am different. I’m not saying that this is good or bad. It is just a statement.

When I first arrived, there were three other volunteers here. They left within a week and a half after I arrived. After they left, I was the only volunteer here until about two weeks ago when two other volunteers arrived. Since then, five other volunteers have arrived and one has already left. Two will leave at the end of this week and the other two will be here for awhile. Having other volunteers here makes me realize this difference between me and them.

I am the only volunteer staying at my particular hotel. The rest of the volunteers are staying at a hotel in Hohoe, right next to Cross Cultural Solutions. They are located near the center of town, in a big village. On the other hand, I am staying in Wegbe, a smaller village located outside of Hohoe.

Last week, Nicholas, one of the teachers at the orphanage asked me if I enjoy staying at my hotel and being in Wegbe since all the other volunteers were at a different hotel. I told him that I enjoy it very much. I explained that I do not come to Africa to spend all of my time with other white people. This helped him understand why I enjoyed being in the small village and interacting directly with the Ghanaians. I do not feel the need to be in the center of town but rather like being in a small village. Being in a small village has allowed me to meet most of the people and be known by almost all of the residents – both old and young. This is usually a good thing except for when I am actually trying to get somewhere and I am stopped by a ton of people, especially children.

I enjoy staying in Wegbe as I also have the opportunity to see the children out of the school environment. It is nice to be able to see this side of them, interact with them in a different way, and meet their families.

Yesterday, Saturday was my first day in awhile to sleep in. Or so I thought. I awoke at 7:30am to a loud knock on my door, followed by another, louder knock, and then another, even louder one until I finally rolled out of bed and opened the door. It was Makafui, the cook at the hotel bringing me my breakfast. As I take my breakfast at 7:30am during the week, she thought I would also take it at this time on the weekend. She is new on the staff here and was not yet used to my weekend schedule. Later that day, after I fell back asleep and woke up at 11am, I asked her to wait until I wake up on Sunday and come to the kitchen to make my breakfast. She laughed, gave me a hard time about sleeping in so late and agreed not to bring my breakfast to me at 7:30am the following morning.

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