Greetings and salutations from the middle of the world.
I spent yet another Saturday afternoon riding my bicycle through the back-country of Ghana, with GPS receiver strapped down tightly and these thoughts wandering in and out of my head:
– “I wonder where this road is going to end up…”
– “Oh, look. Another hill. Joy of joys.” (followed by frantic down-shifting of gears)
– “WHEEEEEEEEEE!” (on the other side of the aforementioned hills)
– “Wow. That’s a lot of green.”
I took a road I had been wanting to take for some time, and ended up following it into a town called Asuokor that I’d passed through on another bike ride, though by a different road. I waved at a bunch of little kids, passed through town, and stopped outside so that I could answer the call of nature and check my tire pressure. I then turned around to go back through town and begin my trip home.
In the five minutes that I spent parked outside of town, the people of Asuokor decided that this white guy on the mountain bike was pretty much the high point of their day, and decided to give me something akin to a hero’s welcome. As I pedaled back through this town, there were people lining both sides of the street cheering, blowing whistles, waving flags/banners/whatever they could find, and jogging alongside me just to say hello. It was simultaneously the funniest and coolest thing I had ever experienced. I have never felt more welcome in Ghana than during this afternoon’s bike ride.
In other news, this week was what I’m calling my “Harry Potter” week. Ghanaian schools are organized in the classic British styling: the students are grouped by forms and houses, the teachers are called “masters” or “tutors”, the school is run by a headmaster, and there are prefects and class captains for enforcing the rules and managing decorum. This week was my turn as master-on-duty, meaning that I was in charge of discipline, overseeing the morning assembly, and supervising the two breaks during the day.
I was also appointed the head of House #2, which does not yet have a name. Personally, I’m lobbying for Awesome House or Gryffindor House, but I think both references would be lost on my students. Oh well.
That’s all I’ve got. Don’t forget to vote, and keep on keepin’ on.