Monday, March 2, 2009


It’s TOO hot here. Yuck.

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night, at like 1:46 or something, and it was so hot I couldn’t fall back to sleep. The fan was going full blast, but it didn’t help. I took off all my clothes and blankets, but that didn’t help either. I tossed and turned for a couple hours, wondering why God hates Ghana so much. Finally, I got up, put on some clothes, and went out to the roof, hoping the crisp night air would help cool me down. The night air, however, was neither crisp nor cool. There was no breeze whatsoever. I unzipped my jacket and flashed all of Haatso, but everyone was sleeping so no one noticed the snow white of my chest, which was glistening with sweat. I just wanted to cool off enough to fall back asleep. Nothing worked!

I stumbled back into the house, so tired I could barely walk straight. I tried to move my bed so that it was directly under the fan, but it was too heavy and too loud to move more than a foot away from the wall without waking up the whole house. Still, the room was so hot I almost wished I were in Russia... almost. I thought about my life a year ago, when I lived at 800 Belleview and needed two pairs of pajama pants, two pairs of socks, a hoodie, four comforters, two blankets, and a space heater to keep warm at night... and sometimes, I still woke up in the middle of the night from being too cold. (I’m pretty sure God hates Ohio, too. I don’t know why.) Okay, as much as I HATE being too hot at night, as much as I prefer diving into cold sheets and warming the bed with my own body heat, the coziness of my blankets fighting against the chill of winter... the only thing worse that waking up from being too hot is waking up from being too cold. Ghana is better than Russia. But still!

I lied awake until at least 4 something. When my alarm went off an hour or two later at 5:55, I wanted to kill myself. I was SO tired I could barely move. I discovered that I have dozens of mosquito bites on my legs and feet. I also discovered today that one of my housemates has malaria. Great. I hope that my malaria pills work! Ridiculous heat and malaria... why does God hate Ghana?

I had a really good day at school, however, and after closing, four of my girls plaited my hair in “rasta” braids. “We’re making you an Afrowoman!” Nana Ama said enthusiastically as she, Ohemaa, Lisa, and Immaculata surrounded me where I sat at my desk, braiding away. When they had finished, my head was covered in little braids. Lisa braided the little braids into three bigger braids, and then braided that into one big mess of a braid by the back of my neck. “Miss Kate, your hair looks beautiful!” Nana Ama exclaimed when she saw the finished product. I didn’t have a mirror, so I’ll just trust her judgement. I love when people play with my hair, so whenever my students ask to touch or to plait my hair, I always let them. My kids are fascinated by my obruni hair, which is long and thick and wavy. At first, they asked me if it were my real hair, and always seemed so surprised when I told them it was. (Most Ghanaian women use wigs or have fake extensions sewn onto circular cornrows.) Also, none of the students at Ancilla have long hair. It’s part of the dress code. Every student, male or female, has the same short, buzzed haircut. At first it was weird to me that the girls had such short hair, but I’m used to it now.

I’ve been here for 21 weeks. 150 days or so. I’m leaving in 21 weeks, in 150 days. I’m halfway through my stay here. Strange. When I think about it, four-and-half months doesn’t seem very long. Really, it’s nothing! However, when I compare it to how long I’ve been here... somehow, it feels like I’ve been in Ghana forever. It’s just weird being “halfway through” a journey in life. The second half always passes faster than the first, I’ve noticed, and I know I’ll be home before I know it. In the meantime, I’m trying to make the most of each day I have here with the people and places I’ve grown to love in Ghana.

Anyway, I hope it’s cooler tonight so I can sleep through the night!


David said...

Who is it that stands
Sweating on a roof
Begging the heavens
To send the cold truth.

Nobody answers
Silence reigns above
Mystery remains
Like a child's love.

Grandma said...

Kate, get yourself a spray bottle and mist yourself at night when you can't sleep!

DeeDee said...

Love the new profile picture on Facebook. The kids looks so happy to be with you! Now you need to post a picture of your new do!