I’ve been living in Accra since coming back from Christmas break and if I’m being honest I really dislike this city. Its crowded and the traffic is the worst I’ve seen, maybe comparable to Bangkok. Probably the same, if not worse. Although, I don’t have people shouting ‘Obruni’ at me as much as I did in Cape Coast or Tamale, but the guys are definitely more aggressive here. I literally can’t leave the house without someone asking for my number or if I will marry them to bring back to Canada. Every single time I get in a taxi it’s the same thing as well. It’s not even enough to say I have a boyfriend back home or something. You always have to use the excuse, “I’m married to a Ghanaian”. I really think this has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. You probably think I should be used to it after 6 months, but to be honest its starting to bug me even more now. It’s getting to the point where I’m debating changing my phone number because so may random guys have it. It’s not as easy as just not giving it out to anyone. They make such a fuss and just say they want to be your friend and get to know you. You feel rude for not giving it to them. You can’t give them a fake number either because they “flash” you, by calling you on the spot to make sure it’s your real number.
I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but at this point I find it overwhelming. Every time my phone rings I get stressed out. Oh yeah, I should mention everyone in Ghana calls each other. People don’t text like they do at home. They will literally just call you to be like “hey, what’s up”, whereas people never do that at home. I have some really close friends that I have never called once in my life, why do people I’ve only met once insist on calling me multiple times a day to say hi?
But anyways. I know it’s a difference in culture, but people shouldn’t assume foreigners who come to Ghana want to leave with a husband. To be honest, if that is there intention coming here, they will have found someone to marry within the first week or two because there is certainly no shortage of dudes flocking to marry a white girl. To me it’s sickening. Obrunis are no greater than all of the beautiful Ghanaian women here, and there’s not the issue of cultural differences conflicting in the relationship.
As for my placement, I’m doing my internship with the West African Primate Conservation Action. I really love what the NGO is doing, despite me not believing in NGOs as sufficient, sustainable actors in development. I really do think that is why we are required to do a placement with an NGO—to learn how problematic they can be. Any professor I’ve talked to about this agrees with me, so I know I’m not crazy for thinking this way. NGOs are simply tools of neoliberalism making it easier to shift the responsibility of public services and development from the government to the private and non governmental sectors.
While I do enjoy my placement I feel as if I’m not learning nearly as much as I should be. Every day I do the same tasks of cutting fruit, feeding the primates and doing enrichment activities. How is this teaching me about conservation? I need to be in the field with a less static position. After meeting with the rest of my group for our midterm meeting, i feel they are doing work which is far more related to what we have been studying in class. I’ve been learning more from the external research I do in my spare time than I actually have at my placement. If this is all I’m going to be doing until April, I could write my entire report already. But, this being said, walking up to work and seeing all the monkeys makes me happy to be where i am. If i was volunteering during a vacation or anything outside of school i would 100% recommend working with WAPCA. I just question being stuck at the Breeding Centre for the sake of my research.
I guess I’m just being bitter and am in a bad mood today. But it is how I feel so I don’t care!!!!!
your bitter girl Tay,
Missing the normal annoying f*ck boys back home.