Dear Naa Kordei,
It is the final month of the year, so soon my stay here will be over and I will be back in Ghana. This is my first time away from home for Christmas. A bit sad, I will miss my family but somewhat excited I will be missing the holiday chores. Whew! The harmattan and the dust, and all the cooking and baking. A girl needs a break. People are pretty geared up for Christmas, with decorations already popping up on residences, shops, schools and offices.
I can’t wait to see how Christmas is celebrated here. Fortunately, I will be spending 24th, 25th and 26th with some amazing families and the New Year with my aunt. I am yet to go see the ‘’Weihnachmarkt’’. This is a month long fare in the city center, I hope ‘’Schmalzkuchen’‘ will be there, I really love that snack because it tastes like ‘bofrot’1. It is probably German Bofrot. There was another time food experience I had. Let us save that for the next food chronicles letter, which might be after the festivities. How about you? How are you preparing for the festivities in Ghana? And the whole ‘’Year of Return’’2 celebration?
Sorry I have not been able to write to you. As you know, life is full of ups and downs and I guess I have been really down. For some time, I didn’t know why, I could not understand and then it dawned on me that I was homesick. I have a way of distracting myself or not talking about my petty frustrations but it reflects in other parts of my life. For example not writing to you after weeks.
It is funny how one’s emotions can switch because you are homesick. Sometimes you are happy and other times you are sad. The random thoughts and memories that pop up in your head. Snapchat and Google photos even make these worse by reminding you with the pictures that come up from the past. It is a middle ground; I wish I could bring a part of me in Ghana here. That is a reminder that certain things in life aren’t a win –win. You just have to play with the cards you are dealt with.
You were asking if I have found a best friend here yet. Hahaha! Not yet. Such a short time to get a best friend. Everybody is too busy. Most of the Bremers I have encountered are very reserved until you start a conversation with them. I am not used to that, you could casually have a conversation with any random person in Accra. However, not here, I once told one of my German Friends that I think most people are reserved because they think it will make you comfortable when they do not talk to you. But there have been gatherings where I have approached the meanest looking person and had the most delightful conversations. The same way some take the bold step to approach me first and it is always a refreshing conversation.
The weather is getting cold and as the trees shed their leaves and look naked, we… human beings put on more clothes. Very soon, all the green will be gone. Sometimes I find it confusing, especially when I am about to sleep. Under the duvet is too warm, without the duvet, it is too cold. In several cases in Ghana, when you see the sun shining. You know it is going to be a hot day, not here. Rain or shine, I always check the temperature for the day and dress accordingly. My coordinator says ‘there is nothing like bad weather but bad clothes’. If that is what rocks their boat, then so be it.
I hear it is yet to get cold. I am waiting to see, I am sure I will have to write the letter in Ga3 or Ewe4 for dramatic purposes. Speaking of clothes. Let me talk about this before I leave to the youth meeting. Remember watching movies and seeing people walk in high heeled boots all over the place during winter? Or even heels in general? Let me put my disclaimer once again. I don’t speak for the whole Germany. I don’t even speak for the whole Bremen either. I barely see women or men wear heels here, yes, they are sold in shops and occasionally I see someone in heels but not as often, as I thought I would. It seems my darling Bremers rather dress for comfort than fashion. I notice most people rather dress to look comfortable.
Well, we will talk about clothing and my work soon. These were just random thoughts that came to mind and I thoughts I could share them with you. It is bye for now. Take care.
Lots of love,
P.S. please write and tell me about your Christmas celebration.
- Bofrot – snacks made of dough containing flour, yeast, sugar, butter, salt, water and eggs (which are optional), and deep fried in vegetable oil to a golden brown colour.
- Year of return – Ghana has designated 2019 as the Year of Return to commemorate 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States. The government has been running a massive marketing campaign targeting African Americans and the diaspora, and various events have been arranged.
- Ga – language of the Ga ethnic group which can be found in the south of Ghana
- Ewe – language of the Ewe ethnic group located at the east of Ghana, and some parts of Togo as well.