Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tomorrow I leave...

Tomorrow I leave the city
The city I've come to know
And travel the road west
To Toronto

For a few short days from now
I'll be hopping on a plane
And travel over the pond
To a foreign land

Where culture will shock my system
And new faces will bring a smile
Where I will experience newness
For miles and miles

I'm broke but it's worth it
Because this is a gift that will last forever
A gift I get to share
With friends that really matter 

Cheers and see you over the sea :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

here we go!

Last night the AFRI3100 gang got together to share some Ghanaian food and drink (thanks to Rory Magill for cooking!) and have our last meeting before we all depart for Ghana. Plantain chips, yams, rice, groundnut stew, okra stew, and the hot and spicy shito! The excitement in the room was palpable and a great feeling amongst everyone as they made final plans and asked questions before the trip. Here are a few pics of the travelers.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Anticipation is a beautiful thing...

 ...for it leaves you enthralled in a prelapsarian bliss. 

There is a sensation that stirs inside of you that is simply irreplaceable for anticipation grants your imagination absolute control over your body. It is incredible to experience the power your mind has over your physical form. You imagine your fears and insecurities. In this process, you truly feel them. These quixotic scenarios plague your body with frissons and qualms. Anxiety begets stress. Though these feelings bring about connotations of the negative variety for most, I interpret them in a very different way. For me, stress causes superlative awareness. It is a reckoning that makes me feel undoubtedly vibrant.  Moments of panic make the body experience a height of animation; heart pounding, senses vivid and mind racing. The ways in which adrenaline chemically manipulate my physiological capacity to engage is a glorious recognition of life; exhilaration at its finest.
While anticipation may be marked by sleepless evenings, it also possesses the potential for days filled with dreaming. There is a lovely joy in the fecundity of jocose flight of fancies; endlessly creating the possibilities of the future. I sigh at the thought of it as I write these words.
In these days of waiting, the myopic nature of the future causes a disconnect with the present. I do not mourn this detachment, for there is a relationship with the present that may only be experienced when you have neglected it for some time. Although my engagement with the present becomes wanton, I intend on experiencing it to the height of its capacity when I am there. For I know that when the day I have been waiting for arrives, I will be stilled. I know that in an instant, I will become so enthralled with my environment that I will enjoy a consciousness unlike any other. I will be reacquainting myself with the present.
It has missed me. It embraces me with a fondness and offers to me all that I have been dismissing: absolute immersion with the moment.
To hang on each instant.
To absorb all it can offer.
It will instill in me all the beautiful joys it possesses.
It is waiting for me. In contrast, as per all those who endure anticipation, I just can’t wait! 


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Life Begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

Our trip coming up so soon!! I've gotten most of the things I need:  mosquito net? Check. Vaccines? Check.  Travel Visa? Check.  One thing I haven’t gotten yet, which I am totally ok with: Travel nerves!!
I’ll be honest. I’m not an amazing traveler.  Sure, I've been to some amazing places, I’m pretty good at adapting and I love challenging myself to learn about new places and cultures. And I know having some nerves is healthy, after all, I really do believe that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, which SHOULD make you nervous. But it’s the before part I’m awful at! I get WAYYYY too nervous! Somehow my goodbyes to my family always seem like we’re saying goodbye forever (just ask my parents, it’s never a fun time). I always, ALWAYS, get that “I’m forgetting something” panic right before I’m about to leave.  And has anyone else ever had that moment of “it would be so much easier to just stay at home at forget all this”?
For the first time, I haven’t had any of that. For this trip, it’s just pure excitement.  I think the reason is that we all know each other already! Anything that I’m nervous about isn't as nerve-wracking when I know I’ll have 13 other people right there with me.  It makes a huge difference.  So bring on May 3rd, I’m ready!  

Monday, 8 April 2013


With all the running around in preparation for ending four years well spent at Carleton as well as trying to get research papers in on time, not much thought has been given to this Ghana trip. But after a meeting today where waivers were signed and roommates were being decided upon, it is now very hard to concentrate on public policy research, when researching on Ghanaian cuisine is much more enticing. As one of the 11 wives of Dennis, I am now beginning to get equally excited and nervous, especially when my Yellow Fever vaccination appointment is just 12 hours away. 


As a group we will be visiting several different places in Ghana where there is a need for donated items. We are currently asking for donations of gently used black dance/workout gear for young adults. We will be donating them to an urban theatre/music troupe in Accra that we will be hanging out with. We are also looking for children's arts supplies to give to a library and school we are spending time in.
Let us know if you can help out! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Four Weeks to Go!

We are all making final preparations for the trip, like getting proper medical shots, deciding what to bring, and reading up about Ghana, all mixed in with end of term assignments, marking (for me) and exams. Our group numbers thirteen, 12 students and myself. As it so happens there are eleven female students and one male. We have all been getting to know each other at meetings. Such a great and interesting group!

I have been going to Ghana for more than twenty years and I am thrilled to share these experiences with new people....its always different and everyone brings such a richness to the experience!

Read on to find out more about our preparations....

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

some poetry...

april 3.

I know it’s in a month
I know, to the day.
but it’s as if my travels
are interiorised
in a foggy dream

through which I am sleeping; -
distracted by the characters of my mind.

they whisper and point
in every direction;
the distinction between
west and west
lost to a choir of obligation

and just as they do,
I disappear:

Misplaced among the voices that aren’t mine.