” what is he saying?” I ask in broken Twi dialect?
” He is saying Circle,” the beautiful round woman beside me says, smiling at my attempt to “Twi” with her.
I am on the Tro- Tro which are crowded mini vans that drive up the dirt and rock roads, stop, are met with a slew of squirming, pushy bodies clammering for a seat on their highly coveted seats that’ll only cost you 40 pesois ( 25 cents canadian) to take you ANYWHERE in Accra.
Riding the Tro Tro gave me my first glimpse at what we would consider unbearable, almost unthinkable poverty, stench and crowds. For me, it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Sewers are open and above ground and they line either side of the street- if I fell in one I would most likely become infected with every disease I’ve been warned against. But the 6 year old I see with her legs balancing on either side of a sewer is smiling up at me as if she has everything she needs in the world as long as she can people watch all day long. What I am getting at is the same point every expat has made. You can have, what we consider, absolutely nothing, and still be the definition of happy. Everywhere the tro tro took me there were people slapping five, laughing, hugging, and they make less than a dollar a day. You can buy a beer for 1.50 Canadian but you’re looking at paying upwards of a thousand dollars a month, sharing with 4 expats. It is very backwards. But it’s only backwards to me. I am making very effort to learn the language quickly and properly. Some of my yoga students back home wrote me sweet departure cards and almost every comment was ” I love how you speak in Sanskrit when you mention poses and then explain what it means in English” ha ha. Well students, I am at it again! I’ll talk to anyone on the street that’ll give me the time of day and the richness of it, I leave each conversation knowing one more phrase and feeling one inch more elevated. I need to go- I need to be at Joy Fm http://news.myjoyonline.com/ here in central ACCRA in ten minutes- but today is a wonderful day and I hope you are Wawachay ( the phonetic spelling of ” well”).