I had a really nice visit home, and effectively missed Harmattan, though a residue of dust on my clothes and books proves it was here in my absence. It was wonderful to see friends, enjoy the luxuries of good public infrastructure, share Christmas with my family and wander around New York City.
Unfortunately, I was so busy enjoying myself that I forgot to take pictures.
I also got to talk (a lot) about life in Ghana. Two old friends, Vik and Matt, invited me on their radio show, American Reason, where we chatted about wild animals and African feminism, among other things. It was a really fun conversation; you can download it for free in iTunes here (it’s the episode from 1/1/12).
And a wonderful reporter from my hometown newspaper interviewed me and somehow managed to string together a story from the disarray of my commentary.
I also got to spend a few days in Istanbul, which I visited last year on my travels. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, with an amazing blend of modern and seriously ancient.
And some of the best food I’ve ever had, especially the classics: mezzes, small plates usually eaten as appetizers, and raki, a clear anise liquor that is usually mixed with water, which makes it cloudy.
I’ve been back in Ghana now for about a week, and I’m glad to be back. It’s warm, for one thing. And though it’s true that I’m missing some of the conveniences of life at home, I hadn’t even realized how much I missed how really amazingly friendly Ghanaians are. I stepped off the plane to a chorus of Welcomes and more help with my luggage than I could possibly need. Even when I’m haggling over prices with a taxi driver, it’s almost always a light, fun conversation.
I moved out of the University of Ghana dorms into a neighborhood in nearby East Legon. I’m sharing a house with an American guy who is here teaching entrepreneurship – more on that later – and it’s so nice to have a room of my own, a kitchen, and reliable internet.
And a place for friends to hang out…
I have a lot of projects and plans to make the most of the last half of my year in Ghana. Lots more interviews, serious traveling, climbing, socializing… and of course trying to keep up with the reading and writing required for graduate school.
Perhaps most exciting: my dear friends McKinze and Sean, who are in their second year of service as Peace Corps volunteers in (the Republic of) Georgia, are coming to visit me in a month! These two are great adventurers; it’ll be fun to show them around.