As my roommate told me what his friend called the Third World, I could just imagine the J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess)iest girl I’ve ever seen saying, from under the brim of her Burberry hat: “it was, like, totally not clean. I’m like never going to the T.W. again.” We saw some of the side this girl was appalled by but also some things she’d like today in the “T.W.”
Things don’t always run as smoothly as the Long Island Railroad here, like our van being a good hour late to pick us up from the hotel today. Things are sometimes more inconvenient, like walking the last block to the embassy because mounds of sand and a road barrier prevent close drop-offs of Americans or bombs. I’d have to join her in complaining about the futility/inefficiency of registering at the embassy: what good does it do for me to tell my government that I’m somewhere in Ghana if everyone who’s important to me already knows? And she certainly wouldn’t like the smell: somewhere between rotten milk and vomit. Whatever was in the gutters, I would still be washing my feet right now if I had stepped in it. I’m not really sure how anyone should react to a grown man walking down a busy city street totally in the buff, but I definitely didn’t expect a cotraveler’s reaction to be “I would too, if I was him. He’s seriously well-endowed!”
Then we shift to a terrain much more comfortable for most of us Americans: the Cocoa Research Institute. More specifically, we’re at CRI’s golf course. Instead of seeing children in rags begging for coins, one can come here and pretend they’re all just worried about being like Tiger. Luckily, CRI also provides an opportunity to start working: we deploy a collection of games to the computer lab a team put in last year and troubleshoot crashed machines. Part of my system for packaging software as one file crashes, but no biggie: we expected as much and work around the problems. We leave a little undone because our hosts get antsy about the hotel reservation when it starts to get dark, but our next visit here should let us have all up and running within a few hours. Feels good to actually do some productive work for a change!
Rest of the day’s nothing majorly exciting. In fact, it’s mostly just sleeping in the van for me. Definitely close to borderline narcolepsy here… but anyways, after experiencing that there’s some good curry to be had in Ghana (even if it is the “T.W.”), I stay up late trying with moderate success to fix the problems we had deploying the software package. If the journal had a moral, I guess it would have to be that the T.W. or the L.I. are whatever you make of them, be it sheltered existence, opportunity to help people out, free trip to Ghana, or a little of each. When the journal grows a moral, you know it’s time for bed:)