Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some Things Never Change

I know I’ve been talking up my new digs like it’s nobody’s business, but I thought I’d revisit a few things that haven’t changed in the name of nostalgia (you know, for those tiny moments that make me realize I’m still in Africa):
1    1. My roommates:

Nothing says you’re in Africa quite like the mummified carcass of a lizard *falling out of the closet and smacking you in the face*

2. Lights Out!

I know I live by the ocean and I know a lot of power in Ghana is water powered, but thinking that I get steady, reliable electricity because I live near a steady, reliable source of water would be foolish. The only thing that connects our frequent power hiccups and the ocean are the pirates who stole our oil on its way from Nigeria.

3. Oh, is that the ocean?

It’s torturous, really. I work on the harbor, I pass the ocean on my way to work and I have this beautiful plumbing system with all of these taps attached to it and yet … I still store water in giant drums, I still bathe from a bucket most days and my office – on the second floor  – still pays a man to fetch water and haul it. I’m starting to realize that this is just how things are.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja … yeah, I’m not going down there, dude.

You know that moment when you walk out of your apartment, holding a flask of piping hot coffee, and walk right into a wall of odor that stops you in your tracks? You don’t have an open sewer right outside your gate? My bad … I thought that was a problem for everyone.

5. Goat or baby?

I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear a goat behind my house the other day! I live in a city, which makes my favorite game ‘goat or baby?’ really hard to play. Plus, baby goats are hilarious and I found one.

6. Oh my God, I LOVE your shoes!

Now that I have an office job, it’s tempting to wear high heels everywhere I go. Except that high heels are pretty inconvenient when the sidewalks are busted. And I don’t mean a few cracks here and there, I mean an open sewer drain covered by a plank of wood; I mean sidewalks that lean to one side; I mean hazards that could cost me an ankle, if not my life.

Okay … so maybe that last bit was an exaggeration (I would never twist my ankle in high heels – I’m a pro), but I mean it when I say it’s a jungle out there – a heel-unfriendly jungle that will probably make me look ridiculous in the near future (because let's be honest - I’m not going stop wearing high heels).

7. I know I look like I just showered, but you’d be mistaken; that was hours ago …

There’s nothing like looking your best walking out the door and showing up to work looking like someone tried (and failed miserably) to baptize on your way there: mascara running down my cheeks, tendrils of hair sticking limply to my forehead, a shirt that looks like some kind of ink blot test (maybe it’s a bird, maybe it’s Lionel Richie, but it's definitely not normal) …

You know what? I’m sure it’s fine. I’m sure I look really impressive; you’re right.

8. Hallelujah!

If you ever visit me, you may start to wonder what that sound is from 6-9pm every day. That, my friends, is salvation. Friday through Sunday are all-day extravaganzas – a cacophony for Jesus. I may have gotten a nice apartment complete with guards and no neighbors, but I also have three churches surrounding me … and they have generators.

There’s no lights-out for Jesus.