Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Man's Trash is Another's Cholera

24 January 2010
Oh hey! Today is my 20 2/3 birthday!
So between oversleeping and still not knowing all of campus, I failed again at going to Mass. Next week.
Later in the morning, I went to the beach with a jolly crowd of people. The water was super salty and had lots of seaweed to catch on ankles, but the waves were fantastic. I spent most of the time seated under an umbrella with friends, enjoying the weather and beachy atmosphere. One could hardly call it peaceful though. Left and right, people were selling jewelry, paintings, instruments, and getting all up in my face about it. One man was carrying a python and had people (including some in my group) pay 2 cedi to take pictures with the snake.
And odd thing happened as we were about to leave. I walked by a man who greeted me and extended his hand to me. This in itself is pretty common in Ghana. We’re pretty greeting-y here. But when I gave him my hand, he shook his head and gestured towards the plastic trash I held in my other hand. I held it to him to make sure that was what he wanted, and he took it and threw it on the ground! It didn’t seem as though this was done in anger. My assessment of the situation is that he thought he was doing me a favor by taking care of my trash for me and in the process showing me what I should do with it? Maybe? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is trash all over the ground in Ghana. Aaaand that’s why the water here is terrifying. Which is why purified water bottles and sachets are great. But… those are what I see all over the ground… I see a vicious circle happening here.

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